1998 World Monuments Watch
Trains still arrive and depart from Chile's largest and grandest railroad station. The shed's single-span metallic vault, supported by 16 arches, seems to stretch for an infinite distance from the waiting area. The French firm of Schneider & Cie designed the 7,500-square-meter terminal at the height of Santiago's urban development. The station is framed by two earlier(1885) single-story Beaux Arts inspired buildings. A busy schedule of trains would seem to bode well for a railroad station except that here a massive redevelopment scheme for the deteriorating area around Alameda Station conspicuously includes no plan for its continued use. Despite its National Historic Monument designation, Alameda Station's historical, cultural, and architectural significance in the city appears at risk. It is feared that the station will be shut down or, at minimum, its aesthetic integrity seriously compromised. Restoration plans for Alameda Station need to be implemented within the existing master plan since the station is still a vital ingredient in the life of Santiago.
Since the Watch
Following Watch listing, the Chilean authorities committed to the preservation of the station. Boosted by rising ridership and strong public investment, today Alameda Station is a well-cared for transportation facility and popular sight.