Downtown Denver is awash in holiday lights this month, with festive illumination stretching from Civic Center through the business district, and all the way down to Union Station. The historic train depot, originally opened in 1881, has plenty to celebrate this year: Construction is under way for the Union Station redevelopment project, which aims to revitalize the landmark building with a transportation overhaul and public space enhancement. By 2014, Union Station will have replaced Market Street Station as downtown’s regional and local transit hub, with expanded RTD, train, and free shuttle services. New pedestrian zones—renderings of the 17th Street Promenade and Gardens show tree-lined plazas, fountains, and outdoor dining—will make it a center for downtown activity. So when the lights catch your eye this holiday season, think of the history they recall—and the future they represent.