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Police substation planned for Santa Fe rail depot

SANTA FE — The city’s Historic Design Review Board recently approved a few minor changes to the Santa Fe Depot.

They include an emergency call box and two video cameras for a Santa Fe Police Department substation slated to soon occupy part of the building, and new signs for the police and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the depot’s other tenant.

The call box provoked the most debate, with some discussion over whether to install the box on the side of the depot or go with a standalone model nearby.

The board chose the latter, which, at $8,800, will cost $4,600 more than an attached box. Among other things, board members said they felt a stand-alone call model will stand out more to users. A representative from the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division also told the board that agency prefers a detached model.

Board members also required the three new signs have coloring matching the beige stucco of the depot’s walls.

Board member Karen Walker, in making the suggestion for the signs, said she understands that it’s important to advertise the CVB brand but “the building is just more important.”

The Santa Fe Depot was built in 1909 in the Mission Revival style. It now marks the last stop on the Santa Fe leg of the Rail Runner train.

Santa Fe formally took over the building in late May, opening a CVB-run Visitor Center. The move came after months of acrimonious negotiations to share the building with the previous tenant, Santa Fe Southern Railway, fell through.

Santa Fe Southern had occupied the depot for years, but by that point was renting on a month-to-month basis. The city owns the depot, but arranged to lease the building from the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corp., the nonprofit that runs the Railyard.