Historic Structures

Building Description Southern Railway System Train Depot, Huntsville Alabama

The Huntsville Depot is a two-story building with a large attic which served as a third floor. Built of red brick, the Building has a stone foundation and four end-interior chimneys. The projecting eaves of the gabled roof are supported by brackets. A line of decorative brick work lies under these eaves. At the third story level at each end are three arched windows with arched wooden architraves, and a round light at the top of the gables. At either end of the row of windows is a quarter circle window, which was used for ventilation. All of these windows and lights have been boarded with plywood. There is some evidence that shutters were once on all the windows.

There are pilasters at each o£ the four corners. The north and south sides have five windows at the second floor level. Each of these windows is arched and is decorated with an arched architrave. The sills are of wood. The first floor is the same except on the north side which has a central double door with five panes in the arched transoms. The north and east sides also have a canopy at the first floor level supported by a large triangular brackets at regular intervals. This canopy was an 1913 improvement of an existing one. There is no record of the appearance of the original canopy.

A report to the President described the original physical appearance as being 70 x 58 feet, and having on the first floor, large waiting rooms for Ladies and gentlemen, Engineer's and Conductor's rooms, a ticket office and baggage rooms. The second floor housed the offices of the Superintendent, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the other officers of the road. These offices were provided with fireproof vaults. The upper floor was finished with sleeping rooms for the officers and operatives of the road.

The depot remained unchanged until the Southern Railway System remodeled the interior of the first floor in 1912 and made the additions to the canopy. Most of the interior features were removed. Partitions were replaced and electric lights were added. Since 1912 there have been no major construction changes, and except for the boarding up of windows, the second and third floors remain almost as constructed in 1860.