The first physical steps toward restoration of the Southern Pacific Depot in Orange were taken when the measurement team from Architectural Alliance, Incorporated opened the door on the east side of the depot and went inside to take measurements. The team consisted of Nina Rivers, Michael Magtaan, and Leo Tan.  “This is the first step in determining how the inside of the depot will be laid out. We need to measure all the walls, door, and window openings. The wall height will have to be measured as well as the square footage of the floor space”, said Rivers.

In doing the inspection the team will also try to determine the original color of the interior walls. A cursory inspection shows about four different layers of paint.  Some of the walls have a heavy coat of concrete stucco. There is an area of wall that appears to be covered with original wainscoting. In the old freight room some of the wall is covered with pine car siding that has one heavy coat of brown paint with some light green and beige showing in spots.

“We will have to check the utilities, plumbing and electrical to see what we will have to do to bring them up to city codes. The restrooms will stay in the original spaces and hopefully the plumbing will not be too hard to work with. The restrooms will have to be made handicap accessible and there will have to be a ramp built on the north end of the building for handicap access. This is a public building and will have to comply with the American Disability Access codes also”, said Rivers.

This is the first of a four phase project to design the depot. After the scale drawings are made from the initial measurements, there will be a meeting to discuss how to utilize the interior space of the depot.  The schematic design phase will begin resulting in the design development. By March 30, 2015 the construction documents should be ready for approval. After they are approved then the physical construction can begin.

The project should be ready to put out for bid with contractors by early April.

Photo – A stained glass window in a door from a bygone era is shown at the old Southern Pacific depot in Orange.