Historic Structures

Seaboard Airline Railroad Freight Depot, Columbus Georgia

Date added: June 15, 2018 Categories: Georgia Industrial Train Station

In 1902 the Seaboard Airline Railway leased the freight line, running down Front Avenue in Columbus, from the Columbus Railroad Company, The latter company was primarily involved in operating streetcar lines within the city and in retailing electric power, and had not been very active in the railroad freight business. The industries, cotton warehouses, and other commercial operations along Front Avenue were eager for Seaboard to acquire those tracks, since that railroad would provide competition to the Central of Georgia Railroad, the primary carrier out of Columbus-.

The Columbus Railroad Company also owned the Alabama Warehouse and hoped to sell that building to the Seaboard Airline Railway for them to use as a freight depot. Seaboard built its own depot, however, in the 1000 block of Front Avenue in 1902.

The small brick depot (48 x 65 feet), built on a hill sloping westward, contained two stories; the upper story was the street level on the eastern side. Its most distinctive feature was a series of arches along its southern and eastern sides on the upper level and the southern and western sides on the basement level. Tracks, supported by a trestle, adjoined the western side of the upper story.

The building incorporated many wooden elements. All the archway doors, and the western wall of the upper end, were of wood and the roof was composed of wooden trusses. The second story contained a raised wooden platform accommodating goods unloaded from and destined for the railway cars.

The building functioned as a freight depot until 1971, The Seaboard Airline continued to service Front & Bay Avenues out of its main yard east of 6th Avenue.

After 1971 the building served as a warehouse for White Tulip Flour, Meal, Seeds and similar products. In 1976 the W. C. Bradley Company bought the building and planned to convert the structure to a new function that would be compatible with the trade center/hotel complex being developed in that area of Front Avenue. On 10 August, 1977 during the sandblasting operations, the building burned, destroying all its wooden elements.