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FOX 13 News 360: Reimagining the Rio Grande Depot

Posted at 10:02 PM, Mar 20, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY — The old Rio Grande train station is one of the most iconic buildings in Salt Lake City, but it's been closed to the public since the earthquake of 2020.

With repairs and other changes underway, some say now is the time to re-imagine the state-owned building.

While trains no longer stop there, the building has served a variety of uses in recent years.

A popular restaurant used to occupy the north wing. A state history research center filled the south wing, and offices occupied the second floor.

The basement, which was always off-limits to the public, is where the state's historic treasures were stored — thousands of items worth millions of dollars that are now stored elsewhere. The legislature has approved funding to build a state history museum on the grounds of the state capitol, where people will finally be able to see those items.

In the 2022 legislative session, state Rep. Stephen Handy helped approve funding for a feasibility study to consider possible future uses for the now mostly-empty Rio Grande, where earthquake damage is being repaired.

The state owns the building and will ultimately decide what will become of it.

In the video above, we spoke with people involved in local government, historical preservation and business, who discussed what options could be in store — from a farmers market, to arts & culture, to residential use.