Harvey House -
- When the original depot was destroyed by fire; it was replaced by the El
and Train Depot which was completed in 1908. The building was named "El
Garces" in honor of Father Francisco Garces, a missionary who visited the
area in 1776. The El Garces was considered one of the "Crown Jewels"
of the entire chain and was remembered for the real linen and silver,
distinctive china and fresh flowers provided for its guests daily. The
lunchroom had two horseshoe shaped counters and could serve many people.
Community members also utilized the facilities for elegant private
dinners, banquets and special occasions. The El Garces closed as a Harvey House
in the fall of 1949, at which time the building was partitioned and used
as Santa Fe Railway offices.
In 1988, the Santa Fe Railroad moved their
offices out of the El Garces to another facility and the building was
closed. Sitting abandoned, the historic building was threatened with
destruction until the Friends of El Garces was formed in 1993. Through their efforts, the City of
Needles was petitioned to purchase the station, which occurred in
Restoration and reconstruction of the historic
building began in March, 2007. Plans were made to sell the facility to a buyer
who planned to open an upscale hotel and restaurant. However, those plans fell
through when the Federal Transit Administration determined that because it had
granted $4.8 million in public funding for construction, ownership had to remain
with the city. Restoration continued and the exterior was completed in 2014.
However, initial hopes for the building apparently have not been achieved as
today it remains vacant and is for lease.
San Bernardino Santa Fe Depot
- In the late 19th century,
Bernardino was chosen as the headquarters for the Santa Fe
Railroad's massive Pacific Coast Locomotive Works, a transportation
center serving rail passengers and the Railroad's administrative
offices. An original wooden depot burned to the ground in 1916 and was
replaced by the magnificent depot that stands today.
Designed in the Mission Revival style with
Moorish influences, the grandiose structure was intended to befit the
city image as the "gateway to southern
For the first half of the 20th century, the depot flourished; many
travelers and business people used the depot and many were entertained
at the depot's famous Harvey House
Restaurant. At its heyday, approximately 85 percent of the townspeople
were dependent on the railroad for their livelihood.
Unfortunately, the depot's great success did not
protect it from the decline of the railroad industry in the latter
half of the century, and it fell into disrepair. For years the old depot sat abandoned until finally in
the mid 1990's the City of
Bernardino began to the work to bring the depot back to life. Some $15 million later, the restoration work, including historically
accurate renovations of the interior and exterior and installation of
utilities, the depot held its grand re-opening in June, 2004. Today
the renovated depot serves Metrolink, a commuter rail service, as well
Chicago Union Station - During Union
Station's boom years in the 1940s, more than 300 trains arrived or
departed daily and 100,000 passengers passed through the terminal. It was
then that the historic station also housed one of the famous
Union Station continues to function as some 50,000 passengers pass through
- The Frisco building that continues to stand in Joplin
once served as
Joplin’s train depot and one of the famous
Restaurants. Today, it has been refurbished into an apartment
- The original
Springfield depot was built in 1882 when the Gulf line built a
large two-story depot at the corner of Mill and Main Streets. It
included a lunch room built by the Fred Harvey Company on the west end
of the depot. In 1901 the Frisco took over the Gulf line.
In the early to mid 1920s several
newspaper articles speculated that a new depot would be built, but
instead the Frisco hired architect R.C. Stevens to completely remodel
and expand the building in the
mission style. There was still a
Restaurant, now on the east side. As railroad travel declined in
the 1950s the depot saw fewer travelers. The popular
Restaurant was closed down in 1955, the last to close on the Frisco
line. On December 9, 1967, the last passenger train left the station.
There was talk in
Springfield of turning the station into a shopping mall, but this
never happened. The building immediately began to decline, as it was
not secured from the public. Although placed on the Historic Sites
Springfield in 1975 in an effort to preserve it, the building was
demolished on March 5, 1977.
Union Station - On September 1st, 1894,
Union Station opened as the largest, most beautiful terminal in the United
States. This enormous project was built at the cost of $6.5 million. The
piece de resistance of this new station was the Grand Hall, which featured
a 65-foot barrel-vaulted ceiling decorated with gold leaf, Romanesque
arches and stained glass windows -- the most magnificent of these being
the Allegorical Window, which is majestically framed by the famous
"Whispering Arch". The end walls were decorated with low relief tracery
emerging from female figures.
In its heyday in the
mid-1940s, the station served over 100,000 passengers a day. During
the 1950s, people began choosing other forms of transportation and with
the decline in rail traffic, the station languished for a number of years
until, in October 1978, the last train pulled out, marking the end of an
In March of 1979, Oppenheimer Properties purchased the station for $5.5
million. In August of 1985, after two years of extensive restoration and
new construction costing $174 million,
Union Station celebrated its grand reopening as a specialty retail,
restaurant, entertainment and hotel complex, making it the largest
adaptive reuse project in the United States.