History

The story of Union Depot is the story of a city, a county, a metro area and a big state in the far north working tirelessly to connect itself to the world. It’s a story that starts in early 20th century and continues with renewed energy in the 21st.

The structure standing today in Lowertown is actually the second Union Depot. The first was built in 1881 but later burned down. Construction for this facility began in 1917 and was completed in 1926. At its peak, nearly 300 trains and more than 20,000 people passed through Union Depot each day.

Subsequent decades, though, saw steady changes in modes of transportation, and the last passenger train left Union Depot in 1971. The facility was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In the early 2000’s, the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) and other community leaders developed the vision of Union Depot as the multimodal transportation hub for the region.

Renovation started in 2011 and concluded at the end of 2012. In all, the project totaled $243 million and created more than 4,400 jobs. Today, Union Depot is a catalyst for strengthening the city, county and region with an expanding range of transit options and unique event spaces for public and private events.