"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

July 20, 2010

The Milwaukee Road Depot

Wikipedia calls this old building the "Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Depot Freight House and Train Shed". I prefer the name inscribed on the clock tower, the "Milwaukee Road Depot". It sits on the edge of downtown close to the Mill City Museum and the new site of the Guthrie Theater.

One section is a train shed...

that leads to the depot itself where ticketing
stations and waiting rooms once existed. These days,
it's a luxury hotel with an indoor water park
and other amenities.

In the summer, the train shed is a parking lot.
In the winter, it's converted to an ice-skating rink.
Many years ago, I would pass by regularly on the bus. One of those days, a woman in her 70's was seated next to me chatting about various things. As we passed the depot, she turned her head and looked into the structure.

"That's where I saw my brother off. World War II."

I never asked her if he came back. I hope he did.


Noko Haha said...

You're way ahead of me. I was just about to do a depot post and I have another story. When the depot was sitting empty back in the late 80's I busted in with a friend and painted abstract day-glo designs all over the windows. I can still remember what a scary abandoned place it was. I would have guessed it would be torn down, I never would have guessed the shed would have an ice rink.

Berryvox said...

NokoHaha - Ahhh! I'm jealous. I wish I had had the bravery to see the inside back then. It's a building I've always been fascinated by and, yes, it WAS ominous-looking even from the outside. Still is. I always avoided that area because it was really creepy in the 80's and early 90's.