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Santa Fe Depot Celebrates 100 Years In Operation

Balboa Park and San Diego's Union Station share a common bond. The station that many call the Santa Fe Depot was built 100 years ago for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park.

As the depot celebrates its centennial, the doors of the popular landmark in downtown San Diego continue to open for new generations of visitors and travelers.

Fourth-graders from Sherman Elementary got a tour of the depot on Monday. Their guide, Corky Lang, was once like them, taking his first train ride here when he was 4.

"This building is 100 years old and it was built to bring more people to San Diego because we were having the Panama-California Exposition," Lang said.

The station was built in less than a year at a cost of $300,000.

Just about everything inside is original, from the oak benches and tile to the large blue and white "Santa Fe" sign.

"The cross signifies the directions north, south, east and west," Lang added.

And the Spanish tiles on the outside dome came from a company in National City. It’s the same material used on the exterior of the Museum of Man in Balboa Park.

"Two gorgeous examples of architecture that we've managed to save 100 years later so I'm excited about that," Lang said.

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