Orlando Railroad Depot
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
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
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.