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St. Paul's Union Depot, Minnesota, USA Achieving Intelligibility in a Historic Transportation Depot

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St. Paul's Union Depot, Minnesota, USA  Achieving Intelligibility in a Historic Transportation Depot
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St. Paul's Union Depot, Minnesota, USA  Achieving Intelligibility in a Historic Transportation Depot
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About the Facility

Recently restored to its original 1920s grandeur, St. Paul’s Union Depot again serves as a transportation center and hosts concerts, art shows and other events. During restoration, the depot’s highly reverberant acoustics and widely varying noise levels presented significant challenges to the important goal of clear voice paging for passengers and natural sound reinforcement for its frequent public events.

The Sound System

As the building architect and engineer, HGA Architects and Engineers worked with the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority (RCRRA), the project engineers and the construction companies to carefully restore the building’s beautiful interior which is finished in brick, plaster, marble and terrazzo.

Due to Union Depot’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places, no acoustic treatment was allowed in the restoration. And, the depot’s large open spaces and hard surfaces combined with its varying noise levels resulted in an extremely challenging acoustical environment.

To meet these challenges, HGA’s Joe Wetternach, P.E., chose a distributed system design based on Community ENTASYS FR column line arrays placed along the walls and aimed into the public spaces.