Harvey House (Barstow, California)

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Amtrak inter-city rail station
Location 685 North 1st Avenue
Barstow, California 92311[1]
 United States
Coordinates 34°54′17″N 117°01′29″W / 34.9047°N 117.0247°W / 34.9047; -117.0247
Owned by BNSF Railway & City of Barstow
Platforms 1 side platform
1 island platform
(others out of service)
Tracks 2 (others out of service)
Parking Free
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code BAR
Opened 22 February 1911
Passengers (2014) 3,096[2] (Amtrak)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Los Angeles
Southwest Chief
toward Chicago
  Former services  
toward Los Angeles
Desert Wind
Discontinued in 1997
toward Chicago
Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe
toward Los Angeles
Main Line
toward Los Angeles
Main Line
Major stations
toward Oakland
Oakland – Barstow Terminus
Harvey House Railroad Depot
Harvey House (Barstow, California) is located in California
Harvey House (Barstow, California)
Location Santa Fe Depot,
Barstow, California
Coordinates 34°54′17″N 117°1′29″W / 34.90472°N 117.02472°W / 34.90472; -117.02472Coordinates: 34°54′17″N 117°1′29″W / 34.90472°N 117.02472°W / 34.90472; -117.02472
Area 1.1 acres (0.4 ha)
Built 1911
Architect Francis W. Wilson
Architectural style Other, Santa Fe
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 75000458[3]
CHISL # 892[4]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 3, 1975
Designated CHISL 1976

The Harvey House Railroad Depot, originally known as the Casa del Desierto, is a former Harvey House located in Barstow, in the Mojave Desert within San Bernardino County, California, United States. Casa del Desierto now functions as an unstaffed Amtrak passenger station for the Southwest Chief, as well as housing Barstow city offices, the local Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, and two museums. Now often referred to as the Barstow Amtrak Station. It should not be confused with Barstow Station, a restaurant food court located about 2 miles (3.2 km) away.

History and Architecture

Casa del Desierto shortly after construction

The Casa del Desierto station and hotel was built in 1911 by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to replace an earlier one built in 1885 that burned in 1908. The Santa Fe closed the station in 1973. It became derelict until bought by the City of Barstow, and rebuilt following heavy damage in a 1992 earthquake.

The building is a synthesis of Spanish Renaissance and Classical Revival architecture styles, with a Moorish feeling as well. The concrete frame is faced with red tapestry brick and beige artificial stone. Majestic arcades and colonnades line the facade, providing shade from the desert sun. Red clay barrel tiles are used to cover the roof. Towers at the building's corners, and those of the central projecting bay facing the tracks, are capped with pointed roofs or painted domes.

Francis W. Wilson is the architect credited by the Historic American Buildings Survey of the National Park Service.[5] Amtrak's Great American Stations site says that "according to contemporary accounts, the Casa del Desierto ... was designed by Francis W. Wilson of Santa Barbara, Calif." Earlier Wilson had designed the Fray Marcos hotel in Williams, Arizona, and El Garces in Needles, California for the Santa Fe and Fred Harvey.[6]

The historic structure is the finest remaining depot-hotel in California,[4] an elegant presence in the Mojave Desert beside the intermittent Mojave River.


Casa del Desierto was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975,[3] and designated as a California Historical Landmark in 1976.[4]

Restoration and museums

The City of Barstow obtained the station in 1990. After restoration and more than $8 million in repairs to earthquake damage, several city offices moved into the building. The Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center also operates out of the former Harvey House. Other public institutions located here are the Western America Railroad Museum on the east side and the Route 66 "Mother Road" Museum on the north side.

Platforms and tracks

1-2  Southwest Chief toward Los Angeles (Victorville)
 Southwest Chief toward Chicago (Needles)

See also


  1. ^ "Barstow, CA (BAR)". amtrak.com. Amtrak. Retrieved 11 Jan 2014. 
  2. ^ "Great American Stations: Barstow, CA (BAR)". greatamericanstations.com. Amtrak. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ a b c "Harvey House". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 13 Oct 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/hh/item/ca1924/
  6. ^ http://www.greatamericanstations.com/Stations/BAR

External links