Thursday, December 06, 2012

Passenger Depot on Front Street in Sacramento

From: "Edward Shatto"

I'm looking for plan or drawings of the Passenger Depot that was built on Front Street in Sacramento. Is or was their plans when this was rebuild during the 70s? ...

—Edward Shatto


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Kevin Bunker"

Circa 1974 the State of California/State Parks Department worked with the City of Sacramento to create plans for the replica depot currently standing. However, this was a conjectural re-engineering effort since no historic CPRR plans or any structural dimensions existed. Historic photos were carefully used to create specific details and a few critical dimensions.

The site was archeologically dug before the replica plans were drawn up – to yield the historic depot foundations outlines, if nothing else. Scant evidence remained buried along with some debris scattered over the site when the subsequent freight depot of 1880+ was put up all along the waterfront. At that point the SP completely redid all switching tracks to suit improved facilities so most of what had been there up to 1878-79 was eliminated.

California State Railroad Museum Library should have blueline copies of the replica plans, and they may be able to make full-sized copies for you at your expense. Contact the CSRM Library directly for about that. Contact info is on the CSRM website.

Be aware that the replica depot is conjectural in form and layout. Historically there were no iron grilles and gates across the tracks around the perimeter; the north, west and south sides, all that being open to direct access. The gates and grilles were added for modern security. Too, the depot seems to have had only one track in dead-center (as far as anyone knows). Whether that was planked as a boardwalk all the 'way 'round is anyone's best guess.

Likewise the offices and waiting rooms layout and furnishings are entirely conjectural based partly on logic and partly on some thin written references.

The original depot started out very plain and the trainshed may have been a late afterthought by the CPRR, put up as the offices-waiting room-baggage room portion was coming together. There has been some suggestion by earlier historians that the ticket office and waiting room might have been part of an earlier combination passenger-express depot that was known to have stood closer to the waterfront (no trainshed on that one, and it was much smaller too) and if so, the whole was taken apart or picked up whole and moved north-northeast 1/4 block against Front Street and lengthened and otherwise added-to.

When new the historic original passenger depot was most likely painted CPRR's 1868-1876 standard umber brown with rose-beige trim around the doors and windows and rose-beige doors with dove gray panels. Window sash would have been white. This scheme was replaced in the mid-1870s slowly and system wide with the CPRR's two tone green the current depot wears. In both of these color schemes the shingle roof may have been color stained, but no one knows for sure since surviving early CP depots from those periods have no surviving original shingles to be color sampled.

—Kevin V. Bunker

12/06/2012 10:36 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Old CPRR Depot

Old CPRR Depot

New CPRR Depot

New CPRR Depot

12/06/2012 10:53 PM  

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