Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot Freight House and Train Shed

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot, Freight House and Train Shed
The Milwaukee Road depot in downtown Minneapolis as seen from Washington Avenue.
Location 201 3rd Ave., S.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°58′47″N 93°15′44″W / 44.97972°N 93.26222°W / 44.97972; -93.26222Coordinates: 44°58′47″N 93°15′44″W / 44.97972°N 93.26222°W / 44.97972; -93.26222
Built 1899
Architect Charles S. Frost
Architectural style Renaissance Revival, Italianate
NRHP Reference # 78001542 [1]
Added to NRHP November 28, 1978

The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot Freight House and Train Shed (commonly referred to as the Milwaukee Road Depot), now officially named The Depot, is a historic railroad depot in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. At its peak, the station served 29 trains per day. Following decline, the station was closed and eventually adapted into various other uses.


The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad had a long history in the Minneapolis area, beginning in 1865 when a predecessor railroad, the Minnesota Central, built a line from Mendota to Minneapolis. The Minnesota Central also built a line from Mendota to St. Paul in that early era. Eventually, rail lines connected Minneapolis and St. Paul with Milwaukee, Wisconsin via Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.[2]


Italianate passenger station

The freight house and the first depot were built in 1879, with an Italianate architectural style.[3] The first depot was razed after a new facility, with Renaissance Revival architecture, was built in 1899.[2][4]

Originally, the facility's most distinguishing feature, the clock tower, was pinnacled and modeled after the Giralda in Seville, Spain; high winds destroyed the pinnacle in 1941 and the tower has since had a flat top.[5]


Several cars of the Olympian Hiawatha at the station on January 27, 1968.

The freight house served a large percentage of less-than-carload freight arriving and departing from the Minneapolis area. Passenger traffic was also significant. In 1916, 15 passenger trains per day used the depot. Later years included the flagship Hiawathas. Rail yard facilities just south of downtown, on Hiawatha Avenue north of Lake Street, serviced the trains.[2] By 1920, the peak of activity, 29 trains per day used the depot.[4]

Closure and reuse[edit]

The Depot's clock tower.

As passenger rail traffic decreased across the nation and freight facilities were consolidated elsewhere, the Minneapolis depot steadily lost traffic. The depot was closed in 1971 and stood vacant for many years as various redevelopment and reuse plans fizzled.[5] In 1978, the depot and freight house were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1980, rail access to the depot was severed when the Milwaukee Road abandoned most of its downtown Minneapolis trackage.[6] In 1998, CSM Corporation began a project to reuse the depot, including a Renaissance Hotel and Residence Inn by Marriott, an indoor water park, and an enclosed outdoor ice skating rink located in the former trainshed. The project was completed in 2001.[4] The water park was converted to additional guest rooms in 2015 during an expansion of the Renaissance Hotel. [7]

Other train depots in the Twin Cities[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Hofsommer, Don L. (2005). Minneapolis and the Age of Railways. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-4501-9. 
  3. ^ Nord, Mary Ann (2003). The National Register of Historic Places in Minnesota. Minnesota Historical Society. ISBN 0-87351-448-3. 
  4. ^ a b c "History of the Depot". Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  5. ^ a b Millett, Larry (2007). AIA Guide to the Twin Cities: The Essential Source on the Architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 66. ISBN 0-87351-540-4. 
  6. ^ Luecke, John (2010). More Milwaukee Road In Minnesota. Genadier Publications. p. 38. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]


  Former services  
Preceding station   Rock Island Line   Following station
Terminus Minneapolis – Houston
toward Dallas and Houston