Historic Structures

Building Description Transcontinential Terminus Train Depot, National City California

The California Southern Transcontinental Terminus Depot is a two-story wood structure erected upon a concrete foundation. Built in 1882, the structure originally functioned as both a passenger and freight terminal until it was converted to accommodate only freight, in which capacity the depot survived until the 1960's.

The building was designed in Italianate style of architecture exhibiting a low-pitched hop roof with widely overhanging eaves and decorative brackets, tall, narrow windows, double doors and belt course, all typical of the style. The contract for the structure awarded to builder W.A. Stratton was $3,800.

The buildings exterior measures 64 feet 3 inches by 36 feet 3 inches.

This building has two brick chimneys. They are centrally located (east/west) in the building, one in the northern half of the building, the other in the southern half. The chimneys are distinctive with their corbel table tops and tall chimney stack.

A large portion of original fabric remains in the interior. The original stairway is intact under the 1970's paneling. The baggage, waiting and freight rooms have been altered to accommodate office space, as has the ticket office, all located on the first floor. The railroad's original safe remains and is in excellent condition. The brick walls of the safe are original and built in 1882.

The second floor, which once housed the station master and his family in nine rooms, has been altered with new room partitions, the enclosure of original doorways, and the painting over, or covering with wood of most of the glass transoms. An original coal burning fireplace remains upstairs. When the depot was converted to a restaurant, a dumb-waiter was added to transport food from the first floor kitchen in the northeast portion of the building.