It's been known for some time that the Point Defiance Bypass now under construction will require Amtrak to move from its current station location to Freighthouse Square. Sounder commuter trains are already using the Freighthouse Square location, which is closer to downtown and has direct connections to Tacoma's light rail. Here is the first view of what the new station might look like.
The proposed design of Amtrak Station at Freighthouse Square.
When the Amtrak station moves from Puyallup Avenue to Freighthouse Square in a few years, it will occupy a brand-new building — if the state has its way.
On Monday night, Dome district residents got their first glimpse of what the Washington state Department of Transportation and its architect would do with the 104-year-old structure that stands where the new train station is planned.
“This building is an old, wood building,” said Mahlon Clements, director of VIA Architecture of Seattle. “To meet all of the codes and to not cost too much to operate, it would require extensive renovation. We weren’t even sure how much of the structure we would be able to keep.”
The new design made some in the audience gasp. The reason: the westernmost 150 feet of Freighthouse Square was gone.
“I’m trying to be calm about this,” said Jori Adkins, a Dome Business District representative. “This building is the icon of the Dome District other than the Dome itself.”
Some likened the replacement — a glass and steel building with a roof line similar to Freighthouse’s and louvers to shade passengers from the sun — to a metal shed, an “Amshak.”
A local columnist is already decrying the proposal: