Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot (Salt Lake City)

The Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot, commonly referred to as the Rio Grande Depot, is a former train station on the western edge of Downtown Salt Lake City.

Rio Grande Depot
Former D&RGW Railroad and Amtrak station
Denver & Rio Grande Western Depot in SLC - Feb 3, 2011.jpg
Rio Grande Depot, February 2011
Location300 S. Rio Grande, Salt Lake City
Owned byState of Utah
TracksNone remaining
Construction
Structure typeAt-grade
Other information
Station codeSLC
History
Opened1910
Closed1999 (passenger service)
Former services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Elko
toward Emeryville
California Zephyr Provo
toward Chicago
Milford Desert Wind
Discontinued in 1997
Delta
Dropped in 1988
Ogden
toward Seattle
Pioneer
Before 1991 reroute
Preceding station Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Following station
Ogden
Terminus
Main Line
Discontinued 1983
Provo
toward Denver
Preceding station Western Pacific Railroad Following station
Wendover
towards Oakland
Feather River Route Terminus
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Station
Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot (Salt Lake City) is located in Utah
Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot (Salt Lake City)
Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot (Salt Lake City) is located in the United States
Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot (Salt Lake City)
Coordinates40°45′46″N 111°54′16″W / 40.76278°N 111.90444°W / 40.76278; -111.90444Coordinates: 40°45′46″N 111°54′16″W / 40.76278°N 111.90444°W / 40.76278; -111.90444
Area2 acres (0.81 ha)
Built1910
ArchitectHenry J. Schlacks
Architectural styleRenaissance Revival, Beaux-Arts
NRHP reference #75001815[1]
Added to NRHP25 September 1975

HistoryEdit

 
California Zephyr at the depot on its last western run, 1970

The depot was constructed by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1910 at a cost of US$750,000.[2] The depot was the main jewel of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, and was designed by Chicago architect Henry Schlacks, who was best known in Chicago for his design of churches, but had also designed the Denver and Rio Grande Depot in Grand Junction, Colorado, for the railroad.[3] It was specifically intended to surpass the nearby Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot, which had been built the previous year for US$300,000.[2] Schlacks's relationship with D&RG was fraught with antagonism, mainly over his pay, which led to delay in the depot's construction. One interesting, and ironic, point was that Schlacks's brother was D&RG's vice president.[3]

The depot was built with elements of Renaissance Revival and Beaux Arts. The high-arched windows at the center were originally installed with green glass to keep the waiting area cool. The depot included a barber shop, a restaurant, a men's smoking room and a women's lounge. There was also a telegraph office and a souvenir/snack bar. The depot opened Salt Lake City to a new influx of immigrants. The depot was also a central point in shipping soldiers off to war in both World War I and World War II. The rise of highway auto travel in the 1950s struck a blow to rail travel and service at the depot dwindled.[3]

The depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The State of Utah purchased the depot in 1977 for US$1 and the building is currently home to the Utah State Historical Society and its research center, the Utah Department of Heritage & Arts, as well as the Rio Gallery.[2][4]

AmtrakEdit

From 1986 to 1999, the depot served as Salt Lake City's Amtrak station, replacing the Union Pacific Depot. It was served by the California Zephyr, Desert Wind, and Pioneer trains, with the latter two having been discontinued in 1997.[5][6] The California Zephyr runs once daily between Chicago and Emeryville, California. The former Desert Wind ran daily from Chicago to Los Angeles, and the former Pioneer ran daily Chicago to Seattle. By 1999, Amtrak had moved to the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub,[7] after which the tracks near the depot were permanently removed.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Haddock, Marc (19 Apr 2010). "All aboard! Rio Grande Depot turns 100 this year: Former Salt Lake train station now houses restaurant, museum ... and ghost?". Deseret News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Digital Media. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Johnson, Brandon (Summer 2010). "One Building's Life: A History of Salt Lake City's Denver and Rio Grande Depot". Utah Historical Quarterly. 78 (3): 196. Archived from the original on 2014-06-17. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  4. ^ "Utah Division of State History: Contact State History". utah.gov. State of Utah. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
  5. ^ "Amtrak National Timetables". timetables.org. Amtrak. 26 Oct 1986. p. 8. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
  6. ^ "Amtrak National Timetable: Spring/Summer 1999". timetables.org. Amtrak. 16 May 1999. p. 17. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
  7. ^ "Amtrak Timetable: Fall 1999/Winter 2000". timetables.org. Amtrak. 31 Oct 1999. p. 17. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.

Further readingEdit

  • Johnson, B. (2010). "One Building's Life: A History of Salt Lake City's Denver and Rio Grande Depot". Utah Historical Quarterly. 78 (3). pp. 196–217.

External linksEdit