Rock Island Lines Passenger Station (Rock Island, Illinois)
Rock Island Lines Passenger Station
Rock Island Landmark
|Location:||3029 5th Ave., Rock Island, Illinois|
|Architectural style:||Late 19th and early 20th Century Revivals|
|Added to NRHP:||June 3, 1982|
Rock Island Lines Passenger Station is an historic building located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. It ceased operating as a railway station in 1980. The building was designated a Rock Island landmark in 1987, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It is now a banquet facility called Abbey Station.
In 1845 local civic leaders began planning the construction of the railroad to Rock Island. The railroad finally reached the city from Chicago on February 22, 1854. It was the first time the railroad had reached the Mississippi River. In order to expand further west, the river needed to be crossed. The first bridge across the Mississippi was built between Rock Island and Davenport, Iowa, opening on April 21, 1856. Rock Island became a pivotal location for the movement of people, commodities and raw materials.
The former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Passenger Station was built in 1901 to serve as the third Rock Island passenger depot. The building was designed by Charles S. Frost of Frost & Granger of Chicago. He had designed over 200 depots in his career for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, Milwaukee Road, Great Northern Railroad as well as the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. The depot was built by Rock Island contractor John Volk for $75,000. For many years the depot had as many as 32 arrivals and departures daily, and twenty-one ticket agents worked around the clock.
Changes in transportation habits led to the decline in railway travel. The last passenger train left the station on May 31, 1978. The depot itself was closed in April 1980. The building deteriorated until 1994 when the city of Rock Island bought the property from the Iowa Interstate Railroad. In 1996 the city restored the exterior and replaced the clock tower. The deteriorated freight house, which was built of the same materials as the depot, was torn down in 1997. Its bricks and tiles were used in the depot renovations. The depot was sold in 1999 to Abbey Station LLC, which now operates a banquet facility in the building.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- Rock Island Preservation Commission. "Historic Preservation". City of Rock Island. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Rock Island Lines Passenger Depot, 3031 5th Avenue". City of Rock Island. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
- Seusy, Kathleen, Anderson, Fredrick I. (ed.) (1982). Joined by a River: Quad Cities. Davenport: Lee Enterprises. p. 41.