Fort Worth Union Depot/ Santa Fe Depot – 1501 Jones Street

 1501 Jones Street [NR/RTHL], Fort Worth Union Depot/Santa Fe Depot, 1899-1900; 1938.  When the new Union Depot opened for public use on March 1, 1900, it was the occasion for a civic celebration.  The depot was considered a monument to transportation progress in the Southwest.  The latest architectural concepts were incorporated into the depot’s design.  It is a robust example of Beaux Arts styling which originally included painted glass in the upper story windows of the north wall depicting the evolution of regional transportation from the Pony Express to steam locomotives.  These windows have been removed, but are being preserved by a local museum.  The red and white stone banding, versatile brickwork, stone groining, and arcaded fenestration are still impressive.  Although the architect is not known, the contractors were David Smith and John Bardon, builders also of Fort Worth’s first City Hall.

The depot was renovated in 1938 as part of an extensive “improvements” project undertaken by the Fort Worth Union Passenger Station Co. and the Santa Fe Railroad.  According to a May 29, 1938 Fort Worth Star-Telegram article, the station “has been renovated and remodeled inside and outside and flanked by protected drives and parking areas. The main entrance has been modernized by removal of an old fashioned portico and its replacement by a neat marquee.  The interior has been redecorated and brought up to date.”

Over its life, the depot has served the Frisco, Rock Island, Burlington, Cotton Belt, Southern Pacific, and Santa Fe railroads, and is today the city’s Amtrak station.  Indisputably one of Fort Worth’s most important historic buildings, the Santa Fe Depot has been a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark since 1970 and was listed on the National Register that same year.  It is now the Ashton Depot developed by Shirlee and Taylor Gandy. It is used for private functions.

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