Uproar over railway station remake

Latvian social media was sent aflutter Thursday after Mārtiņš Ķibilds, a TV host of a show dedicated to Latvia's architecture, posted an irate Facebook entry on the new railway station in Jūrmala which replaced the historic wooden building, to be moved to a nearby location as part of a modernizing effort by Latvian Railways.

The renovation aims to raise the platforms to a higher level and improve access to people with disabilities. Similar efforts have taken place in 13 other stations. 

The former sixty-year old station - which has a status of national heritage - was torn down to pave way for a modernized one. Ķibilds claimed that homeless people were appropriating old bricks from the ruins of the old station and thus Latvian Railways hadn't made good on the promise made in autumn to restore the former building in a nearby site.

Ķibilds and others on Facebook on Twitter also claimed that the new station looks like a container and doesn't fit the surroundings at all.

Latvian Radio reported Friday from the site that new platforms had been installed with freshly laid bricks and a new ticket office consisting of two metal containers. There's also a bicycle parking spot and improved access for people with disabilities.

While authorities claim the old station has been dismantled, its parts inventorized and ready for reconstruction. 

Jānis Asaris from the State Inspection for Heritage Protection told Latvian Radio that the heritage authority has no knowledge about any bits of the old station being stolen and, according to the current information, all the wooden structures have been put into storage. 

Here's a comparison:

Photos of the old station, to be reconstructed near the new one, are available HERE

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