Historic Structures

Building Description Union Pacific Railroad Depot, Kelso California

As constructed, the Union Pacific Railroad Depot at Kelso is essentially L-shaped in plan. The long, two-story, twelve-bay-by-three-bay, rectangular main block of the building is wrapped along the front and sides by a one-story arcade. The main entrance is on the southeast facade, facing the tracks. A single-story wing projects from the rear, and a basement underlies most of the building. The exterior finish is stucco, applied to metal lath over wood sheathing. The arcade is flanked at each comer by buttresses. The low hipped roof is covered with clay "mission" tiles, and small gables with espadana parapets rise from the northeast and southwest ends of the building. A large gable is located slightly off-center on the southeast facade. Centered in its espadana parapet is the Union Pacific RR Shield, made of terra cotta.

The main entrance leads to what was originally the lunch room, a large room occupying the northeast end of the building. Immediately to the left upon entering was the cashier's counter. The principal staircase, leading to both the basement and second floor and constructed in the Craftsmen style, is located in the west comer of the room. The remainder of the room was originally occupied by tables and a large U-shaped counter. The rear wing housed the kitchen and some of its auxiliary spaces, including three refrigerator rooms. A central corridor running southwest from the lunch room is flanked by rooms originally housing managers and "female help." Three rooms located at the southwest end of the building, and not connected internally to the rear of the first floor, housed the conductor's room, the baggage room, and the ticket office.

The second floor contains of a double-loaded corridor running the length of the building. Rooms along the southeast side were designated for railroad for "male help." The basement housed recreational facilities for railroad employees staying at Kelso, including billiard and reading rooms, as well as a locker room and bathing facilities. Below the kitchen wing was a supply room, a store room, and the building's boiler room. Poured-in-place concrete was used for the depot's foundations. The walls, floors and roof are of wood frame construction. Steel beams anchored to wood posts support the second floor about the dining room, and steel lintels were used to span some of the basement windows openings. The interior finish throughout is plaster.