While I was in San Antonio earlier this year, it was recommended to me to check out the train station that was about a mile from my hotel. So, the morning after my talk, I laced up my sneakers and went for a walk. I was not prepared for the awesome historic building I found. I’m so glad I went and truly feel fortunate for being able to experience places like these in person. Here is a bit of history on the train station:
Southern Pacific Depot 1902
Constructed for the sum of $115,000, the Southern Pacific Depot was one of the main stopping points along the famous Sunset Limited Route to California. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the train station was called “the building of 1,000 lights” because of the many electric lights installed during its construction. These lights may have contributed to a 1907 electrical fire that destroyed the roof and severely damaged the southwest corner of the building, which was repaired the following year. The depot has recently been painstakingly restored to its original splendor, including the re-creation of the 16-foot-diameter rose window that fills the north end of the building. According to local lore, a Southern Pacific CEO removed the original window and had it shipped to his home in California. Upon his death, the window passed to his sister, a nun, who had the piece shipped to somewhere in the Northwest and stored in a warehouse; it supposedly remains there today. The creation and installation of the current window is part of the multi-million restoration and development project that focused on returning the St. Paul Square area to its original turn-of-the-century glory.
Of course the building was locked. So, I did what anyone would do that’s visiting from out of town–I banged on the door until a man came and let me in. Totally worth it: