Milwaukee Depot, Missoula

The tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railway were laid across Montana between 1907 and 1909. Completion of this final transcontinental line and the fierce competition it generated renewed interest in the railroads. Its far-reaching effects revitalized the lumber industry, boosted a sagging economy, encouraged agricultural expansion, and precipitated a homesteading boom. Completion of the line through Missoula solidified the town’s role as a major urban and trading center. This splendid brick passenger depot was built in 1910. Its grandeur and stylistic sophistication are indicative of the railroad’s importance to the town. Designed by architect J. A. Lindstrand, it is one of the finest examples of railroad station architecture in Montana, rivaling Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railway stations in Butte and Great Falls. One of Missoula’s few surviving remnants from the era of railroad supremacy, the design is particularly noteworthy for its castle-like appearance enhanced with contemporary poured concrete and Mission style detailing. Five-story and three-story towers crowned with Romanesque style windows, castle-like parapets, and Spanish tile roofs emphasize the monumental proportions of the two depot buildings. Now connected by a modern addition, the two-story building originally accommodated passengers while the one-story building was used for baggage. The depot’s grand interior still boasts 15-foot coffered ceilings with milled wood beams, relief-paneled wainscoting, and elegant molded wood trim.

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250 Station Drive, Missoula, Montana ~ private