The mining town of Clifton, in far eastern Arizona, has had ups and downs over the 100+ years of it’s existence. It’s position along the San Francisco River in a steep valley makes for interesting photography.
A few years worth of depot and station photos have been added, resulting in a very long posting.
Boise, Idaho – No longer used as a station.
Spokane, Washington – Just the clocktower remains from the Great Northern Station.
Wichita, Kansas – The old passenger terminal and the freight station are side by side.
Kansas City, Missouri
Tucson – Not only does Amtrak stop in Tucson, it does so at this classic building.
Phoenix – Unfortunately there is no passenger rail service in Phoenix, so the building is locked away.
Brooklyn, New York – Brighton Beach Station on the historic car day
San Isidro, Argentina – There are two stations here, one is on the more touristy Coastal Route
The main San Isidro station is on the Tigre-Retiro Line.
Retiro Train Station
Concepcion Train Station
Once Train Station
A Sampling of Subway Stations
For more detailed looks check out these postings.
Toronto – Streetcars
Depot in rail museum
Hamilton, Ontario – GO Station
Brooklyn, New York – MTA Museum. A former subway station (Court Street) is now the MTA Museum with a number of historic cars. The coolest subway platform in town.
Galveston, Texas – Santa Fe Railroad Station and Office Buildings. Now a rail museum.
New Orleans – The St Charles Streetcar
Washington – Union Station
Chicago – Union Station
Chicago El Stations
Howard El Station – Vintage Train waiting to take us to the Skokie CTA Shops
Quincy – Dating from 1897, the Quincy Station has been left fairly intact to original.
Pittsburgh – Penn Station
Manhattan – City Hall Station, Built 1904, Abandoned 1946.
Manhattan – PATH station in the World Trade Center Oculus.
The train to Hoboken
Jersey City – New Jersey Transit Light Rail – Newport Station
Columbus – near German Village – The High Street Streetcar Line Car House. Very nicely restored as a banquet facility.
On this Sunday morning they were setting up for something – so the door was open 🙂
Berea, Ohio Depot – Now a restaurant and tavern.
The Berea Depot sits along two major rail lines, and the parking lot had a number of die hard Railfans hanging out to watch the freight trains go blowing by. Apparently this spot in the best spot east of Chicago for those type of activities.
While in nearby Olmstead Falls is a small depot that was also once located next door in Berea.
It is part of a railroad themed shopping and entertainment complex.
Elyria, Ohio is a medium sized city, so they had a larger station. It too has recently been restored.
The Elyria station features some nice architectural touches.
Amherst, Ohio Depot.
As with many others it too is a community center.
Oberlin, Ohio is home to to Oberlin College – the oldest co-educational college in America, and second oldest in the world. It continues to be one of the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in America – in this tiny little northern Ohio town!
Their train depot is located in a small park.
It is nice to see how many towns have retained these historic buildings.
Just down the road in Wellington is the Lorain and West Virginia Railway Museum. While situated along the tracks, this depot was moved to the site.
The museum offers rail excursions.
The little town of New London, Ohio has a tiny little depot that has been moved to a local park.
Our last stop of the day was in Galion, Ohio. We came upon this great Queen Anne style station that was open for a ‘Doors Open’ event.
The station’s interior needs some work, but it is standing and seemingly solid.
The stone and brick building still features much of the canopy for waiting passengers.
This station was home to the ‘Big Four’ railroad – that connected Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus & St Louis (they must have skipped Indiana).
On our Labor Day weekend throughout the Midwest we visit a few stations that were along the way.
Battle Creek, Michigan
Three Oaks, Michigan – It is now an upscale clothing store in a tiny little tourist town.
Chicago – Union Station (Interiors)
Buffalo Central Terminal – There is a dedicated posting for this amazing station
Jersey City – This station is at the dock for the ferries to the Statue of Liberty. Currently unused, it appears to be being restored as part of Liberty State Park
St Louis – Union Station. Now a hotel and a shopping mall
Philadelphia – 30th Street Station
Boston – South Station
Denver – Union Station. I understand it has been restored since this photo was taken.
New York – Grand Central Terminal. I have amazingly few photos of this great terminal despite having been in and out of there numerous times.
Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania Station. Now luxury apartments.
The Amtrak station is connected, but in an ugly little building near the lower level
Dennison, Ohio – This nice little station has been restored into a museum.
Scranton, Pennsylvania – Steamtown National Historic Park has a great roundhouse that serves as the museum.
Also in Scranton is an old station.
Canon City, Colorado – The spectacular Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad station.
Greeley, Colorado – Centennial Village Union Pacific Depot
Bowling Green, Ohio Depot – now located at Dayton’s Carillon Park
Glendale, Ohio – Now serves at the Visitor Center
Dearborn, Michigan – Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum.
Thurmond, West Virginia – Located in the New River Gorge National Park.
Fargo, North Dakota
Nelsonville, Ohio – Home of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad
Elmore, Ohio – Another visitor center
Bellville Depot – It has been restored and is now a rest stop along a ‘rails to trails’ path.
A stylish clock is on the other side of the path, facing a great looking bridge.
The overall scene of the Bellville depot.
The town of Mt Vernon has two passenger depots and a former freight building. The first building was a Baltimore & Ohio depot.
It actually sits along active tracks.
Used by the local community development organization, it is beautifully restored inside and out.
The second station, just a few blocks away is restored as well.
A passenger station for the Pennsylvania Railroad, it closely resembles the B &O station. If you have ever wondered why some towns have ‘Union Stations’ it is because of this, why have 2 stations – have a ‘union’ of railroads and build one.
The tracks here have been converted to a rails to trails as well.
The interior is fantastic.
Even the heating radiators are stylish.
We arrived at Granville in the pouring down rain, so I took a couple photos out the car window. As with many of the others, it is a stop on a rails to trails.
Leaving the rain we stopped in the tiny town of Alexandria, where the station has been moved a mile or so from it’s original location to a parking lot of a business.
The next day we headed to western Ohio to the town of South Charleston. This depot had the best of both worlds, it was on a bike trail going one way and an active track going the other way.
Across the tracks was a park with a couple of cabooses.
The small city of London, Ohio was our next stop.
The station here was along unused tracks, and appears to be owned by a club. The building appears to have been restored, but the area around the building is a bit shabby.
As with most of the medium size stations there is some character to the architecture.
I had read that a depot from the southern Ohio town of Bainbridge had been moved to a place called Greene’s Museum Village, but when we found it, the place looked overgrown and someplace I didn’t want to go knock on a door – so a photo from across the corn fields sufficed.
Finally back in Columbus we unexpectedly passed by some remnants of the streetcar years. This unused building is just north of downtown and was the business offices for the streetcar company.
A streetcar barn had been located across the street but has been torn down years ago.
I can’t believe someone hasn’t restored this great building.
On the east side of Columbus, near Franklin Park is the Kelton Avenue streetcar barn. Actually this is the repair shop, the storage barns have been torn down here as well.
I have added the rest of the streetcar remnants to my list of places to go see, so stay tuned for more in the future.
The Brice Station served a small town just east of Columbus, now it is part of an events center on the northwest side of town.
We were lucky enough to meet a Reverend who was getting ready for his Sunday morning services. He was more than happy to let us look around the nicely restored station.
In the back they have a dining car, that still functions as a dining car – it just doesn’t move.
The counter is a work of art.
Our next stop is owned by the same people, only located across town. It is called the Golf Depot, and serves as the restaurant and clubhouse for the golf course.
I was immediately impressed with the views. Central Ohio is very flat and I was surprised that we were on a small rise, with a skyline view and a view of the nearby airport.
Where did this hill come from you ask? It was a huge landfill/garbage dump that they have re-purposed into this golf course. As with the last depot, the train never stopped here, since there were never any tracks anywhere close to here.
They do celebrate their rail history with a mural.
The depot was moved in tact and placed on the course.
The restaurant has all of the original wood.
We were having such good luck finding great little depots we headed 30 miles away to the small town of Sunbury, Ohio. I had read they too had a station, and a model train exhibit inside. Unfortunately the station was covered in some hideous faux shake shingles.
It was located where the tracks were, but are now gone. In it’s place is a very nice rails to trails path. I was disappointed in the depot, but the hike made up for it.
We continued back toward the city by stopping in the small city of Delaware, Ohio where the list said there were 2 stations very close to each other. The list was correct, there was this small wooden depot.
Mostly hidden behind barbed wire fence.
And a larger one across the tracks.
That had warning signs of the hazardous conditions. So much for our good luck with finding cool little depots this day.
This small depot is located the Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.
The small station serves as a display area for the museum.
Bucyrus, Ohio is currently restoring their fine brick station.
We are looking forward to a return visit when it is completed.
Newark’s is already restored and serves as an office for a local business.
While a nearby mural celebrates their rail history.
The small town of Canal Winchester (so named because the Ohio and Erie canal went through the town before the railroads) has two stations – this one if for the Interurbans (regional trains).
It serves as a community center.
On the other side of town is a small depot for the mainline trains.
A small museum resides inside.
With a couple of restored cars outside.
The Marion station is one of the nicer ones. The exterior is in great shape, and the interior is not bad. A local rail fan club maintains the building.
Marion is located near multiple main freight lines and attract numerous rail fans.
The building has a classic look.
The nearby control tower oversees the activities.
In a Lima part there is a small depot called Lincoln Park. This small depot was located in a nearby town and moved to the park as part of the rail display.
It currently serves as offices for the park.
The Franklin County Fairgrounds is the home of the Hilliard Depot.
The National Road is more famous for automobile traffic, but this little depot served interurbans that eventually lost out to the cars.
Another small depot in the town of Pickerington.
Our last couple are more impressive stations. The Columbus and Toledo station on the near west side of Columbus is a great building with a pagoda look.
With the main Columbus station gone, it is fantastic that this one survived.
It currently serves as a union hall, but they rent it out for weddings and other events.
Finally – Cincinnati Union Terminal.
On of the best domes in the world, it is mostly used for a number of museums that make their home there.
But Amtrak does use a portion of the building.
Easily one of the best train stations in America, the woodwork is stunning.
Art deco at it’s finest. My plan is to update this posting as we visit more depots and stations around Ohio.
Kansas City’s Union Station still provides what little passenger rail service exists today, but it has so much more. It has been restored as a museum, restaurant center and post office. The station was, and is, one of America’s great stations.
The Cincinnati architecture tour starts with a view of the historic City Hall. This impressive Romanesque building dates from 1893, after taking 5 years to build. The design was intended on reflecting the taste of the German descended majority of the population of the city at the time.
The Cincinnati Fire Museum (back side). Dating from 1907, the building is on the National Register.
The Plum Street Temple (now known as the Isaac Wise Temple), was built in 1865, with construction occurring during the Civil War. As with City Hall, which is caddy-corner from the temple, it is built in a style (Byzantine Moorish) that was popular in Germany at the time.
With World War II, all the temples in Germany in this style were destroyed, leaving only this and one in New York City in this style.
The Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building – This art deco building was completed in 1930.
Note the frieze – it is a series of rotary phones.
One interesting note, in the 1930s it contained the worlds longest straight switchboard (photo from Cincinnati Enquirer article). The floors were built at an unusually tall for the time 12′ high to support the equipment.
The western end of Garfield Place has a number of interesting structures.
The red brick building is the 1891 Waldo Apartments. The designer, Samuel Hannaford, also designed the Music Hall, nearby City Hall, and the Hooper Building.
The Covenant First Presbyterian Church is another late 1800s religious building. Both the church and the Waldo are on the National Registry.
William Henry Harrison is overlooking the entire scene. The statue’s statement of ‘Ohio’s first President’ is a bit of a controversy, as Harrison was born in Virginia, but elected from Ohio.
The Doctors Building is just down the block, on the south side of Piatt Park. The building has an impressive terracotta façade, while the construction itself is brick and concrete.
The east end of Piatt Park has a wider view of the Doctor’s Building on the left, as well as a statue of James Garfield.
The Garfield statue was commissioned just 2 years after he died, finally being unveiled in 1887.
Tucked in what is essentially an alley, the Cincinnati Gymnasium and Athletic Club dates from 1902. The club claims to be the oldest continuously running athletic club in the country, including Rutherford Hayes once being a member and president of the club.
In a controversial move the club would hold basketball games against other clubs, charging an admission and sharing the proceeds, thus making them ‘professional athletes’ in a time where that was frowned upon.
The Second Renaissance Revival Building was named to the National Registry in 1983.
The former Shillito’s Department Store building is unique in that the front and one side is very Art Deco in style, but the back is a far more traditional look.
TV fans of the 1970s will recognize this building as the home of ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’. In reality it was the home of the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper.
This limestone building was opened in 1926. Today it is home to a couple of hotels.
Cincinnati was clearly a boom town in the 1920s, as yet another of the classic buildings, the Taft Theater, opened in 1928. This art deco hall seats 2,500, and is used for touring Broadway shows and concerts.
The John Roebling Bridge is one of the highlights of the city. When completed in 1866 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, at 1057′. This was supplanted by his more famous Brooklyn Bridge in 1883.
A mix of old and new – the St Louis Church. Another 1930s building, it’s location at Walnut and East 8th Street is located along the new Cincinnati Streetcar route. Ironically the streetcars that would’ve been there when the church was built was torn out in the 1950s, only to be replaced by this new system costing $148m.
Just down the street, and a few decades before, streetcars ran everywhere. (photo from Wikipedia – ‘Metro Bus’). If only they had left the tracks.
Easily the best (in my opinion) is Cincinnati Union Terminal. Once a grand train station (still a small Amtrak station), it is now a museum center.
The building is known as the second largest half dome building in the world, after the Sydney Opera House.
Two landmarks for one – Fountain Square and the Carew Tower.
Fountain Square has been the center of the city since it was installed in 1871. The fountain’s name is ‘The Genius of Water’.
The Carew Tower was the tallest building in the city from it’s opening in 1930 until it was surpassed by the Great American Tower in 2010. While the interior is very ornate, the exterior is a very basic approach towards art deco.
Our tour complete it is time to get out of town at the 1937 Lunken Airport Terminal.
As we continue to be restricted to any travel the ‘virtual travel’ series is continuing with some history. This posting will detail the history of Chicago through maps and photographs, and take a look at what it looks like now.
In 1840 when New York City already had over 300,000 people, Chicago was just starting as a town with just a few thousand. By 1860 is was in the top 10 with over 100,000, and just 30 years later there was 1.1 million people and Chicago was ‘The Second City’, doubling in population from 1880 to 1890.
Celebrating Chicago through World’s Fairs
It was around this time that Chicago decided to make it’s presence known on the world stage by hosting a World’s Fair. Local leaders lobbied hard to land the right to host this fair with the federal government, winning out over New York, Washington and St Louis.
The site chosen, Jackson Park, provided the 600 acres required. The lead architect was the famed Daniel Burnham, who was a proponent of the ‘City Beautiful’ movement.
While most of the buildings were designed and built to be temporary, there are a few that remain to this day.
With all of the buildings built in a neo-classical design and painted the same color, it became known as The White City.
Getting to the Fair
With the incredible growth of the city from the end of the Civil War to 1890, Chicago’s transit struggled to keep up. Initially private companies had built horse drawn trolleys downtown. In 1892 the first of the famed El’s was completed from 39th Street (Pershing Road) to the Loop. The next year the Chicago and South Side Elevated Railway extended this to the fair site at Jackson Park.
The map below dates from the 1930s but clearly shows the line going south before turning left towards the lake, ending at Jackson Park. (Red Lines denote the El). This company failed not long after the fair ended because there was not enough ridership to maintain financial stability, being sold under foreclosure.
Of note this line was originally not electrified, the coaches were pulled by an engine.
The Chicago History Center has one of the original cars on display.
Green Line Train today
Also note the Midway Plaisance connecting Washington Park and Jackson Park (Green strip on map between the parks). This area was the Entertainment section of the park (more on this below).
Today the Green Line takes a very similar route, although the spur towards the lake only goes to Cottage Grove Avenue, and the southernmost branch is gone.
As noted in the photo description this is the entrance at the Midway Plaisance.
The map detail shows some of the highlights of this area, including the famed Ferris Wheel. While there had been a wooden wheel built in Atlantic City in 1891, but it burned down the next year.
Ferris’s wheel was to be Chicago’s answer to Paris’s Eiffel Tower. It was massive – 264 feet high, with a capacity of 2,160 passengers. So renown was this feature that for many years Ferris Wheel’s were known as ‘Chicago Wheels’
Today Chicago’s Navy Pier has one that, while impressive, is shorter than the original.
The Midway Plaisance today serves as a park area next to the University of Chicago. There are a few reminders of the fair.
The grounds and buildings were magnificent.
The Palace of Fine Arts was one of the few buildings built to remain after the fair.
It serves today as the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
The Statue of the Republic Was the Centerpiece of the Basin.
While no longer surrounded by water it is one of the few remaining structures from the fair.
But Chicago had a second chance at a World’s Fair just 40 years later, when they hosted the Century of Progress, which ran from May 1933 until October 1934, taking the winter off.
But the city, and world, has had significant change since 1893.
The Auto Club sponsored ‘Routes’ with fair themed names for automobile travelers to come to the city. In addition they sponsored ‘Motor Villages’, campgrounds and motels on the outskirts of town,.
Despite the introduction of the automobile, train travel was still the primary way to get to Chicago.
This Conoco map shows an Illinois Central Railway Station at the entrance to the fair.
In addition to the station at the fairgrounds entrance, there were another 6 train stations downtown, including the commuter rail stations.
Today there are 3, two for the commuter rail and Union Station, and even that station is just a portion of what it was.
Union Station is still very nice, but this grand space above was torn down in 1969.
Once you were in town the El or streetcar network would take you to where you needed to go.
Including directly to the Fair.
Welcome to the Century of Progress World’s Fair entrance.
The skyride took passengers from the main entrance on Columbus Drive to the lake shore. In this photo the Field Museum and the skyline of downtown is clearly visible.
One of the features of the 1933 fair compared to 1893’s is that it was essentially downtown, whereas the Columbian Exposition was a couple of miles south of downtown.
The 1930s was the height of the Art Deco movement (a favorite of mine), and the advertising for the fair highlighted this.
The industrialists of the day had major exhibits. GM even built an assembly line.
You could see the homes of tomorrow.
After the fair an investor purchased the homes and moved them by barge to nearby Indiana, and placed them along the lake shore as an attraction to the community he was building.
Time was tough on the homes, but over the last 20 years or so the state of Indiana has sponsored a program where you can lease them for $1 with the stipulation you fix them up (which costs $1m +). The results are fantastic.
Many Chicago landmarks were part of the fair including Adler Planetarium
as well as the Field Museum and Soldier Field.
Chicago has always used their lake shore for the public’s enjoyment, never more so than during the two World’s Fairs. Part 2 of this series in a few days will focus more on the development of the transportation in the city.
Welcome to the Empire State – New York. While there is some doubt as to where the nickname came from, most attribute it to a comment from a George Washington letter to New York City mayor James Duane where he referred to it as ‘The Seat of the Empire’.
While the state is dominated by New York City, the capital is Albany. The entire center of the city is known as the Empire State Plaza, and is surrounded by government buildings.
Unique State Symbols
State Beverage – Milk. The state ranks 3rd in the amount of milk produced. (photos from statesymbols.org)
State Muffin – Yes, we have another state muffin, the Apple Muffin. As you may recall we featured the blueberry muffin of Minnesota, however I missed the Massachusetts state muffin – corn muffin.
New York also has a state snack – yogurt. The state is the leading producer of yogurt, likely as an offshoot of that dairy business.
While most states have a slogan – New York’s is ‘official’
Highlights of the State
1947 1975 2004 2005/2009/2011 2006
While all the maps on these postings have been road maps, transit in New York is much more. New York City has a long subway history that is celebrated at the Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn.
If you are lucky enough you can get a tour of the vacant, but fantastic City Hall Station in Manhattan. This was one of the original stations, but because the platform is curved when they introduced new, longer trains in the 1940s it became obsolete.
New York has a plethora of great bridges – including the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge (top row). Other bridge featured below include the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands Bridge, the South Grand Island Bridge near Buffalo, and of course the Brooklyn Bridge.
No trip to New York City can be complete without admiring, and photographing the great architecture.
Back upstate is the Watkins Glen Racetrack. This legendary track hosted the U.S. Grand Prix for 20 years, and has continued to host racing for over 60 years.
Beyond the City
1982 1987/2011 Boldt Castle 1989 2009 Fire Island Lighthouse 2013 2017 Whihteface Castle – Lake Placid
Long Island – Land of endless suburbs and massive estates, Long Island’s most famous residence is likely Sagamore Hill. This was President Theodore Roosevelt’s home.
But there are many more estates, thanks to the ultra rich looking to have country homes outside the city.
When most people refer to Long Island they think the area beyond Queens, but the reality is both Brooklyn and Queens are on Long Island – making it one of the most populated islands in the world with over 7 million people.
Woodstock – Well technically it is nowhere close to the actual town of Woodstock, it is near Bethel since Woodstock. The festival, with 400,000 spectators, took place on Max Yasgurs farm in 1969. Today the site has an amphitheater, arts center and museum.
Back to Watkins Glen – only this time to the actual Glen. This picturesque park and gorge is just at the edge of town.
Niagara Falls and other great tourist attractions of the state.
Niagara Falls – One of the world’s greatest waterfalls.
Buffalo – Just upriver from Niagara Falls. This once great industrial city has some great relics like the Buffalo Central Station (bottom photos).
Western New York is home to a number of Frank Lloyd Wright design structures. The Martin House is featured in the top photos, the boathouse on the left middle was from a FLW design. The gas station on the middle right is in Pierce Arrow Museum, and finally the lower house is Graycliff, located along the shores of Lake Erie south of the city.
New York City has a number of major tourist attractions. Featured here is Times Square, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, The High Line, Radio City and others.
Public Art abounds in the city. My favorite is the collection from Tom Otterness located in the 8th Avenue/14th Street subway station.
Public Art is scattered throughout the city. While we could go on for a long time on great sights of New York, we will end here.
Welcome to New Jersey – my usual first views of the state are landing at Newark airport, for better or worse.
At the other end you can take a ferry from Delaware.
1955 2000 2002/2003/2004
The New Jersey State Capitol is in Trenton. (Photo from Flickr)
The unusual state symbols of the day include:
State Colors – Jersey Blue and Buff. This dates from the Revolutionary War when Washington assigned the colors to the regiments of the New Jersey Continental Line. It is thought he chose these because New Jersey (as well as New York) were settled by the Dutch, and those colors are the Netherlands colors.
State Tall Ship – A.J. Meerwald. This ship, built in 1928, is featured on maps below. It is a Oyster Schooner.
Officially known as the New Jersey State House, the building was completed in the 1790s, behind the capitols in Maryland and Virginia.
Let’s visit some other cities in the state starting with Atlantic City. It’s main business since being started in the 1850s has been tourism. It was marketed to the crowded city folks in New York and Philadelphia as a healthy resort on the ocean.
By the 1870s more than 500,000 people a day made their way to Atlantic City. By the early 1900s it had large hotels lining the coast, along those streets whose names have been made famous by the board game Monopoly, as well as the notoriety from the Miss America Pagent.
The mayor of the time quoted during Prohibition ‘we have whiskey, wine, women, song and slot machines. I won’t deny it and I won’t apologize for it.’
By the 1970s it had fallen on hard times, so they introduced legalized gambling. These photos show the rebirth in the 1980s, but the convention hall still being the showpiece.
Today it is similar, only with so many cities introducing gambling, the city has one again fallen on hard times. (photo from NJ public radio)
Much of the Jersey Shore (not beach or coast) has some cool/kitschy features, but the best is easily Lucy the Elephant in Margate. This 140 year old elephant still brings in the tourists.