The railroads were essential to Denver's development, and there has been a train station at 17th and Wynkoop since the 1880s. Union Station, in its present form, was built in 1914 by the renowned firm of Gove and Walsh. In the intervening years, time and the decline of passenger rail service led the building to fall into a genteel decline. But it was so beloved, and so important to the character of nearby LoDo, that it was rehabbed — a $54 million project that was finished last summer. The resulting design, by Tryba Architects and JG Johnson Architects, includes shops, restaurants and the new but old-fashioned Crawford Hotel, which boasts 112 luxury rooms, some of which have been decorated in a way that highlights the days when people traveled in Pullman sleeping cars. The spiffed-up station still serves passengers on trains, but it is also now connected to a huge bus and light-rail station that ties modern transportation back to the city's days of yore.