St. Paul's Union Depot has been rebuilt and remodeled many times

By John Diers

Diers_uniondepot coverThe St Paul Union Depot Company was incorporated in 1879 by the railroads serving St. Paul. The company was created for the purpose of building and operating a single, jointly owned railroad passenger terminal. The first depot opened in 1881. It was destroyed by fire in 1884 and then rebuilt. The depot received an addition in a 1900-1901 remodeling project.

On October 3, 1913, fire struck again. The fire sped up plans for construction of a new depot to better provide for the city's growing passenger traffic. The nine owning railroads: the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Rock Island, Minneapolis & St. Louis, Milwaukee, Omaha, Burlington, Soo Line, and Chicago Great Western, agreed on a 15 million dollar price tag after a long dispute over the size and cost of the new depot. Charles Frost, who designed the Great Northern and Milwaukee Road depots in Minneapolis and was a nationally-known designer of railroad stations, was chosen as the architect. George J Grant Construction Company and Foley Brothers were the principal contractors. Work began in 1917.

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