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New welcome sign to adorn Rio Grande Depot rooftop

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A new welcome sign is planned to adorn Rio Grande Depot rooftop in Salt Lake City.

Officials say the Rio Grand Depot sign is scheduled for replacement beginning August 1.

The new sign which officials say will be two-sided is expected to be completed October 11.

Officials say the new sign which will now welcome visitors arriving in Salt Lake City from the Transmodal Hub and I-15 will face East and West. They say the sign will also serve as a landmark within the downtown area.

The new sign will be the third on the roof of the building located at 300 South Rio Grande St., officials say.

The Rio Grande Depot was erected in 1910 but officials say it did not have a sign until 1940. The first sign was tri-faced and welcomed visitors from the East, West and North sides of the building.

The current Rio Grande Depot neon sign according to officials was installed in the late 1950s to replace the Denver and Western Railroad.

Officials say maintenance issues have plagued the sign for several years and replacements parts are no longer reasonably available. They also say the frame holding the sign is rundown and sign contractors will not allow crews to walk on the catwalk to finish repairs.

The two-sided design was submitted after more than two years of reviews and analysis, according to officials.

The Salt Lake City Planning Division approved the two-sided design in April of 2019.

The Rio Grande was built under the direction of Henry Schlacks and opened Salt Lake City to a new influx of immigrants, according to officials. They say the Rio Grande also served as a Central point of shipping soldiers off to war in both World Wars I and II.

Officials say the Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and was purchased by the State of Utah for $1.00 in 1977.

The Depot is now home to the State of Utah’s Department of Heritage and Arts, including offices for States History, Userve Utah, and the Rio Gallery.

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