Orient-Santa Fe Passenger Depot
Marker Text: The Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient Railway Company (KCM&O) built this depot in 1909-10. The KCM&O was one of three connecting railroads promoted by mining and railroad entrepreneur Arthur E. Stilwell. The proposed system ran 1,600 miles from Kansas City, Missouri to Topolabampo, Mexico, the Pacific post nearest the U.S. Midwest. However, the rout was never fully completed. San Angelo won a bitter contest over Sweetwater to become a major state on Stilwell’s International Rail System. This was the largest of the company’s depots, and it also served as headquarters for their state offices.
The KCM&O engineering department designed the depot; most drawings bearing the name or initials of Albert T. Camfield. The depot is a large, two-story rectangular plan structure with a bell-hipped tile roof, deep overhangs, and dormers on the street façade. Red brick walls are accented by cast stone detailing. Square posts support a one-story hipped-roof canopy and covered entrance on three sides. A square projecting tower with pyramidal roof on the track side housed the dispatcher. The first floor contained segregated waiting rooms, ticket office, baggage handling area, gentlemen’s smoking room, and ladies’ parlor. The second floor was devoted to offices.
Although the KCM&O struggled in early years, the discovery of oil in west Texas in the early 1920s led to higher company profits and capital improvements. The Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe purchased the KCM&O in 1928. By 1989, the Santa Fe announced plans to raze the freight and passenger depots. Citizens initiated a successful campaign to preserve and rehabilitate the buildings as a Senior Services Center and railroad museum. (2008)
Marker No: 15218
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Texas Historic Landmark
National Register of Historic Places
Location: 703 South Chadbourne Street, San Angelo