Scissortail Park & The Future Of Union Station


Wednesday, September 18th 2019, 12:43 am
By: Dana Hertneky


Union Station was built back in the 1930s, and architects say the plan is for this historic building to be restored to its original glory.

Peter White's father worked at Union Station when it was a train station.

"My father was a Frisco passenger conductor, and he brought the last Frisco passenger train into this station," White said.

As a young boy, White's mother would bring him to Union Station to pick up his dad, who was coming home after time away.

"As a kid, I remember waiting right here, just about where we're sitting for him to come up this long ramp that led to the tracks," he said.

White comes from a long line of railroaders.

It's no doubt that it's what has fueled his interest in transportation -- and his attachment to Oklahoma City's Union Station.

"When I walked past and got to the door where I could see the ramp, it kind of came over me what an important part of my growing up and young life this way," White said.

He was an Oklahoma City council member when MAPS 3, which included Scissortail Park, was approved. He has a special interest in seeing what becomes of Union Station.

MAPS 3 project manager David Todd said the building will be a future focal point for events and activities in the park. Eventually, he and architects visualize the building being used as an event space like a wedding venue. It could also house a restaurant, retail space and offices for park operations.

"Very iconic building, and we're very happy it's in the park and will be saved and renovated," Todd said.

For the moment, that's all down the line. A study has been completed, identifying uses for the building and preliminary cost estimates. There are no firm plans for construction or funding for the renovations.

White said he'd like to see the railroad museum or historical society move in, as a tip of the hat to what used to be.

The Citizen's Advisory Board has discussed allocating some of the excess MAPS 3 collections to renovating Union Station, but so far, nothing has been sent to the council.