Union Depot in St. Paul is a historic railroad station in the Lowertown neighborhood. It used to be exactly what you’d expect: a train station. These days it still serves light rail, Amtrak trains, and bus lines, but this one-of-a-kind facility is so much more. A substantial renovation in 2011-2012 overhauled the building,
making it a hub for offices, shopping, food and drink, and events.
A new look and purpose for the Union Depot necessitated new, cohesive signs that complemented the building’s historic appearance and classic appeal (it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places) while also meeting modern-day standards and requirements.
In preparation for and during the construction, a team of about 40 people scoured historical resources and images to make sure that the color patterns and schemes of the renovated Union Depot aligned with the building’s history. Then it was up to SOULO to ensure the paint for the interior and exterior signs was the exact right color, whether it was wayfinding signs inside the building, monument signs outside, or tenant signs above doors.
Even something as simple (it’s not at all simple in practice) as hanging a banner on the outside for a big event, like Train Days, took a great deal of effort. Because of the building’s historical value and designation, SOULO spent almost a year working with both the National Park Service and the Ramsey County Historical Society to get approval to install hardware on the outside of the building to hang those banners. Even after the hardware was installed, it’s still a four-story building; it takes more than a stepladder to reach those heights! But we are experienced with it: our large format group prints and installs new banners for different events and seasons.
The Union Depot is a terrific gathering center, one that connects people within the community as well as (literally) to many other cities. In over a decade since its renovation, it has fulfilled its promise as a modern attraction while retaining its original neoclassical grandeur. SOULO is proud to play a part in the building’s ongoing evolution.