Sunday, December 15, 2013

Being Restored: the Santa Fe Depot, Redlands, California

The Santa Fe Depot, at 347 Orange Street in Redlands, has been unused for at least three decades. But the building is in reasonably good condition, and, as of 2009, there were ambitious plans to turn it into a combination restaurant and retail space. As of late 2013, I did not see any progress, but these plans typically take years to get going.
Santa Fe Depot, Redlands, California
Originally built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the pseudo Greek revival depot was designed 1909 by architect Arthur Brown, Jr., and constructed in 1910. A nearly 300-foot long colonnade along the platform looks grand, but hides a somewhat more modest 100-foot depot building.  The depot closed in 1970.  The tracks are now owned by the State and may be revived as part of a commuter transit system.  It would make sense to develop rapid rail to connect to Ontario and LAX airports.  
1922 route map of the AT&SF railroad.
Undated photograph from
This was an active depot decades ago, and the 1922 route map shows Redlands as one of the system's many destinations. It must have once been very lucrative to bring passenger traffic to and from southern California.
Santa Fe Depot, Redlands, California
The day I took these photographs, I saw a professional photographer taking portraits here, possibly a corporate job.  He had reflectors to bring light in to his subjects.

The old waiting and baggage rooms look reasonable.  Someone must have repainted in the last few years.  I took these photographs through some dusty windows, bracing the camera on a ledge.
Heavy-duty industrial restroom - built for the ages.
Sturdy old-fashioned restrooms were built to last in the old days.The tiles and stalls surely are original.  I hope this building gets a new life soon.

Essays on other railroad depots:

Wikipedia has a good article on the AT&SF railroad.
For information on the Redlands loop from San Bernardino to Redlands, see the abandonedrails web page.

Photographs taken with a Panasonic G3 digital camera, some RAW files processed with Photo Ninja software.

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