Orlando Railroad Depot

 

The old Orlando Railroad Depot is located at Depot Place and West Church Street in Orlando. This building holds some of the earliest history of Orlando inside of its aging walls, but still has a story to tell.
 

In 1886, Henry Plant, railroad and hotel magnate decided that it would be a good idea to control a railway from the east coast of Florida to the west coast. The majority of tourists were traveling straight down the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. to the new resort cities of St. Augustine and Miami on Henry Flagler's trains. Plant wanted to continue developing Tampa as a resort to rival Flagler's and sought control of the railroad line through Orlando. This is the main reason; he had this station, as well as others built along the line.

Construction of the Orlando Depot began in 1887 and continued for 2 years. The building was dedicated on January 14, 1890. The original owner was the South Florida Rail Company.

orlando railroad depot, depot place, west church street

The style is Queen Anne/Eclectic Victorian. In 1920 modifications to the building had the slate roof replaced with a tin roof. The dormer windows were changed from an eyebrow shape to a gabled shape. In 1980, the building was restored. The original shaped eyebrow dormers were brought back as well as the original red, silver and gray slate roof. The building was used as a passenger train depot from 1889-1926. From 1926-1972, it served as a ticket outlet and freight station. In 1972, the station was filled with retail shops and was part of the Church Street Station Entertainment Complex and was used as such until 2001. Since 2002, the building has stood empty.


Even though the building has no practical use at this point in time, the history of the events that have happened inside will be remembered forever. The local community has made every effort in its power to insure that this historical landmark will remain in excellent condition for the years to come.
Orlando, though blossoming with new and exciting things, has stood true to its founding fathers by preserving as much of its history as possible. The Orlando Railroad Station (though nothing more than just a show piece now) reminds all the residents and visitors to the area, exactly how this piece of Florida was erected. Without this historical railroad station, it is quite possible that Orlando would not have become the place that it is today.