Terminal Station (Atlanta)
Terminal Station in 1918.
|Address||75 Spring Street SW
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
|Closed||June 1970 (demolished 1972)|
Terminal Station in Atlanta was the larger of two principal train stations in downtown, Union Station being the other. Opening in 1905, Terminal Station served Southern Railway, Seaboard Air Line, Central of Georgia (including the Nancy Hanks to Savannah), and the Atlanta and West Point. The architect was P. Thornton Marye, whose firm also designed the Fox Theater and Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta, as well as the Birmingham Terminal Station.
In its 20th century heyday, Atlanta Terminal Station was used by such well-known trains of the time as the Crescent, Man 'o War, Nancy Hanks, Ponce de Leon, and Silver Comet. A veritable rail-travel crossroads of the American south-east, it was a critical railroad link between the warm climate of Florida and the Gulf Coast, and the rather colder, more densely populated states of the north-east and mid-west. For many northern Americans, Atlanta Terminal was the gateway to the sunshine. The Atlanta Convention Bureau released a postcard in the 1920s that claimed that Terminal Station was served by 86 trains per day.
The train shed that had originally been built alongside the head house was torn down in 1925. The Southern Railway built an office building next door to the station at 99 Spring Street that is still standing, although the Southern eventually moved their local offices to another building in Atlanta. On 17 May 1938 a five-story Terminal Hotel, that had been built across the street from Terminal Station, burned in a disaster that claimed 27 lives. The station head house was renovated in 1947 just after World War II.
After Terminal Station closed in June 1970, the Southern Railway continued to operate the Southern Crescent passenger train, shifting its Atlanta stop to the much smaller Peachtree Station, commonly known as Brookwood Station (although Amtrak was created in 1971, the Southern Railway did not join until February 1979). Terminal Station was razed in 1972, although Southern retained one platform for its use. The site of Terminal Station is now the Richard B. Russell Federal Building which was built in 1979.
The aforementioned platform, an old switch tower, and a portion of lead trackage are all that remain of the station.
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