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[photo] Front and side views of Santa Fe Depot (Union Station)
Photos by and courtesy of Jim Rees

The magnificent 1915 Santa Fe Depot (Union Station) is a monumental reminder of California's Spanish heritage. The station was designed by San Francisco architects Bakewell & Brown to reflect the colonial Spanish and Mission history of California. The station also represents the battle waged by the City of San Diego to become the western terminus of the Continental Railway. The depot was completed during an optimistic era for the City of San Diego and was opened in time for the 1915 Panama-California International Exposition. The architectural style of the depot was intended to harmonize with the Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings of the Exposition. The massive arch of the front entrance is flanked by twin towers with colorful tile domes. The grand interior space of the station is highlighted by natural redwood beam ceilings and walls covered with brightly colored tiles. At the grand opening of the station on March 8, 1915, Oliver J. Stough, the last surviving veteran of the Mexican War, was given the honor of purchasing the first ticket.

The Santa Fe Depot is located at 1050 Kettner Blvd. in San Diego. The depot is still an active transportation center with access to several train lines. The business office of the San Diego Railroad Museum is also located in the depot.


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