With a swooping hip roof and flared eaves held up by decorative timber brackets, Northfield’s Milwaukee Depot offers an example of an architectural style typical of many Midwest train stations from 1870-1900. The large overhang gives passengers shelter when sitting or standing outside.
Regional Depots with Similar Architectural Elements
An excellent Midwestern example of “Richardsonian Vernacular” is the Rock Island Depot in Iowa City.
Closer to home is the beautifully restored Milwaukee Depot in Montevideo, Minnesota. This depot was featured in the 2005 film “Sweet Land” and is now part of a railroad museum.
The immediate inspiration for the Northfield depot was probably the Milwaukee Depot in Decorah, Iowa, which railroad officials from Northfield visited in September 1888.
1917 expansion of the Northfield depot. Northfielders were unhappy with the odor inside the depot after the bathrooms were installed in the original baggage room and demanded the railroad do something about it. Railroad architects made plans to expand the Northfield depot in 1917, but the project was never carried out. This design will guide the planned restoration.