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Chestnut Station dedication set for Tuesday

Submitted by on 1, May 11, 2009 – 5:45 amNo Comment

0905_chestnut_long_ago_3601The Chestnut Street Station neighborhood shopping district has gotten a major face lift, and the city is showing it off with a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 12.

The 100-plus-year-old station received city facade grant money for a paint job and new tile that matches the cobalt blue tiling the station had when it was originally built. Per a city press release, overhead transoms have all been re-lettered in the classic gold leaf numbering of the period, and lighting has been returned to a period style.

The buildings sprung up around a South Pacific Coast Railroad stop established in 1878 at the corner of Encinal and Chestnut streets. Per the city, the years that followed saw the formation of an affluent residential neighborhood around the station for businessmen who commuted by train and ferry to San Francisco.

The Chestnut station is one of 10 neighborhood shopping areas that formed around local train stops, mostly between 1900 and 1930. The block, which is owned by St. Joseph’s Basilica, is now home to the Blue Dot Cafe, Lilac Dress Boutique, All the More to Love, Carole Chan Lamps and more.

The festivities will include music from the St. Joseph Notre Dame Ensemble, a blessing of the block, and an unveiling of a special commemorative plaque. The event is free and open to the public. (Oh, and Encinal between Chestnut and Lafayette will be closed for the event from noon to three on Tuesday, so go around.)

Event sponsors include St. Joseph’s Basilica, the Greater Alameda Business Association, Alameda Chamber of Commerce, and the Development Services Department.

If you’re looking for more background, Alameda Sun City Editor and author Dennis Evanoksy put together a pretty comprehensive history of the station for the paper this week.

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