Train Stations With Elegant Clock Towers
By Beryl Frank
Dan Brown said in the Da Vinci Code, "the inside of Gare Saint-Lazare looked like every other train station in Europe" The same could never be said of the large stations in the United States. There are Victorian stations, early frame stations and combinations of both all over our maps.
Many of the large stations, whether Union or not, have wonderful timepieces which reach to the sky. Take a good look at the train station closest to you. Would that perhaps be the B&O Mount Royal Station in Baltimore? If so, you may see a handsome timepiece above it which is still in use today in the 21st century.
The Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri, at 8th and Market streets, was reputed to be the largest in the world. It covered 11 acres and every train in and out of St. Louis arrived and left from this facility. The Grand Central Hall has a floor area of 8800 square feet.
The Michigan Central Depot in Detroit has some ivy-covered brick walls. All four of the clock faces could be seen and read from almost any direction. This building was completed in 1882 and cost approximately one million dollars.
The Union Depot of Portland, Oregon, was sometimes called Road of a Thousand Wonders. One of those wonders was surely the tall clock tower, taller than any other buildings around it.
Time and the railroads were very well acquainted. The railroad signal of ALL ABOARD was usually based on timekeepers - from pocket watches for the conductor to the tall clock towers at the top of the depots.
Mount Royal Station, Baltimore, Maryland
Union Station, St.Louis, Missouri
Passenger Station, Fort Worth, Texas
Union Depot, Portland, Oregon
Main Street Station, Richmond, Virginia
Michigan Central Depot, Detroit, Michigan
Passenger Station, Boise, Idaho