Historic Structures

Building Description Southern Railway Terminal Station, Bessemer Alabama

The railroad terminal building has changed little since it was completed March 1, 1916, The structure, which measures 170 feet in length and 50 feet in width, has exterior walls of pressed, brown brick with metal trimming of rolled copper.

The roof plan is irregular, having two levels of hipped roof and a center section which is gabled. Heavy tile was used to cover all sections of the roof. The upper level of the hipped roof is raised above the primary level to allow the ceilings of the waiting room to rise to a height of 22 feet. Windows line the small portion of wall between the two sections of roof, and give light to the waiting rooms. These sections of the roof have wide overhangs supported by brackets.

The interior design of the building includes two waiting rooms of equal size measuring 25 x 36 feet each. A smaller waiting room and toilet room are located on the north end of the building. This smaller waiting room was furnished with rocking chairs and other pleasant furnishings for the ladies. A separate room on the south end of the building was used for the baggage room department.

The woodwork and trim throughout the building is of hand-finished Circassion walnut. Wainscotting is used to the height of four feet on the walls of the waiting rooms. The material used was pressed stone on concrete, highly polished. The floor is poured concrete laid off in squares.

The building is lighted during, the day by large glass windows. Originally, it was lighted at night by indirect lighting fixtures.

This building contained one of the earlier vapor heating systems to be installed in the South. This system was a combination of hot water and steam heating systems. Its principal virtue lies in the economy of operation, a pound of steam being sufficient to heat the building.