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Ornamental plaster work in the historic King Street Station

A rubber mold (green) is made from a section of the original ornamental plaster work. The mold will then be used to cast new pieces that will replace damaged or missing sections.

SDOT is in the process of restoring the historic King Street Station. This multi-year project will return the station to its original beauty and make functional improvements so it can remain a critical transportation hub and gateway into Seattle for the next hundred years.

While much of the exterior of King Street Station had remained intact since the building was constructed in 1906, parts of the interior had been substantially altered and others had suffered neglect. Some of the significant finishes in the lower portion of the station had been removed.

One of the project objectives is to restore the original ornamental plaster ceiling and walls, perhaps the most interesting part of the station interior. The ornamentation in the Main Waiting Room had been partially covered by a suspended ceiling in 1965. The plaster work on the original ceiling had been damaged by the pins and hangers used to support the lowered ceiling. The ornamentation on the walls below the ceiling had been scraped off.

The suspended ceiling was recently removed and what remained of plaster work was uncovered. EverGreene Architectural Arts is now restoring the ornamental plaster, doing all of the work on-site, using numerous methods. Much of the restoration relies on the creation of molds that will be used to cast new plaster details to replace the damaged sections of the original plaster work.

The original ceiling with beautiful ornamental plaster work was uncovered by removing a false, suspended ceiling that had been added in a 1965 remodel.

The rubber molds are created using various methods. When an original piece is not available, the mold forms have to be created from scratch.  In other cases, a large original section that is damaged can be removed and repaired prior to using it to make a mold. Molds can also be made directly on an original piece that is still in place in the building.

Please see the project website for additional photos, videos, and to learn more about the restoration of the King Street Station.