The Milwaukee Road Depot's new metal roof successfully mates the new with the old.
MINNEAPOLIS - The Milwaukee Road Depot and Train Shed in Minneapolis, vacant since the 1970s, recently opened after a major effort to restore its contribution to the community and preserve its historical significance. The development includes hotels, restaurants, a skating rink, public use areas and parking.

As one of the last long-span, truss-roofed train sheds in the United States, this railroad landmark is now back on track, thanks in part to a new roof from Petersen Aluminum Corporation.

The standing seam roof on the train shed utilizes 66,000-sq.-ft. of Petersen's Snap-Clad 24-ga. steel panels finished in a custom Diplomat Gray Kynar 500 paint. In addition, the project utilized 22,000-sq.-ft. of Pac-Clad 24-ga. steel material for miscellaneous flashing details.

The roofing contractor was Specialty Systems Inc., Burnsville, Minn. According to Terry Ryan, vice president of sales and marketing for Specialty Systems, "The panel lengths created an interesting challenge for our field crew who had to work in an extremely congested downtown environment to hoist the panels to the roof."

The panels were factory formed in lengths up to 54 feet and shipped from the Petersen plant in Chicago to the job site. This represents one of the longest panel length projects ever shipped over the road by Petersen Aluminum Corporation.

Even greater challenges occurred much earlier, however. Given the prominence and historic nature of the Milwaukee Road Depot project, there were numerous influences impacting Shea Architects of Minneapolis, and the general contractor, Bor-Son Construction, also of Minneapolis. Bor-Son contacted Specialty Systems to find a high quality yet turn-of-the-century look for the roofing.

According to Ryan, "Working with Petersen, we engineered the metal roof to provide the aesthetic appeal that was necessary while delivering the value that was required."

Snap-Clad panels, produced in continuous lengths, are corrective leveled to provide superior flatness. They are available in 26 standard colors, five metallics and unlimited custom colors. For more information call 800-PAC-CLAD or visit