Historic Structures

Construction History Moffat Station, Denver Colorado

On July 30, 190A. Moffat incorporated the Northwestern Terminal Railway, a subsidiary company of the Moffat Road. This independent company was charged with building all of the terminals of the railroad. The company was also responsible for locating and purchasing a right-of-way and Denver property for a main terminal.

In September 1905, Northwestern Terminal announced the purchase of the right of- way leading to the eventual site of the Moffat Station. In January 1906, Northwestern Terminal secured a building permit for a brick and steel depot measuring 50 by 176 feet (final original building length was 130 feet), with a value of $17,000. The contractor was Miles McGrath, the builder of the 15th and Delgany station. The architect was Edwin Moorman.

Architect Edwin Moorman came to Denver approximately in 1900. He designed many Denver homes, especially in North Denver, Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, and other locations. Probably his most well-known project is the Cody Memorial on Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado. He died in 1926.

Moorman designed the square depot with symmetrical sides and an 80-foot warehouse and loading dock extending north of the building. The building reflected the Georgian Revival style of architecture popular during the early 20th century. Each side of the building displays the same oversized arches and windows, while an elaborate quoining motif and round metal finials or pommels decorate the brick walls and the roofline. This distinctive roof statuary makes the Moffat Station instantly recognizable even from afar.

During the spring of 1906, work proceeded quickly on the depot. In April 1906, the Moffat Road's chief engineer predicted a May 1 opening date. He responded to a query about station operations by saying that "while the building may not be completed on May 1st, it will be in such condition that we can arrange to do business from [the station]." On May 2. Sumner arranged for workers to tear up the old 15th and Delgany Street platform and use the material in the new depot. At a later date, the 15th and Delgany station was disassembled and rebuilt at Tolland. above Rollinsville on the Moffat Road.

By the summer of 1906, the Moffat Station handled all the passenger and freight service of the Moffat Road. The railroad used the station in this fashion until 1947. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad bought the Moffat Road that yeeir and closed the station. Between 1908 and 1917, a second railroad utilized the Moffat Station. The Denver, Laramie and Northwestern Railway incorporated in I906. Like the Moffat Road, it had great ambitions to head west, eventually to the Pacific Ocean. But the Denver, Laramie and Northwestern only reached Greeley. Colorado, and in 1917 it folded. Ironically, the lease agreement for the use of Moffat Station and other Moffat Road facilities was a factor in the failure of the railroad, as the lease's "high fixed payments [aided] the railroad's downfall."

Between 1947 and 1948, the Service Transfer and Storage Company established a distributing warehouse in the Moffat Station, utilizing the loading dock north of the depot. In 1949, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad constructed a 50-foot, $9,000 addition to the warehouse in order to provide more space for the transfer company. In 1950, the railroad constructed a second addition, a 120-foot, $30,000 extension to the warehouse for another tenant, the Central Vegetable Sales Company.

The Service Transfer and Storage Company leased the Moffat Station until 1971. The Central Vegetable Sales Company occupied the station for an unknown period of time. Other recent tenants have included Thomas and Son Transfer Line, Armstrong Acoustical Products, and Lawrence J. Lewandowski.

In 1987, Denver City officials have considered utilizing Moffat Station for passenger service again. The 500-acre central Platte River Valley, home of the Moffat Station, is considered by urban planners to be the largest parcel of undeveloped land near a major American urban area. If development of the valley is to proceed, passenger service at Union Station (Union Depot) must be relocated. The City of Denver has suggested that the Moffat Station can be renovated to service the trains and passengers of Amtrak, opening up the land behind Union Station for development. The Moffat Station of the Denver, Northwestern and Pacific Railroad is at present one of only two train stations remaining in Denver; it may someday return to life as the city's primary train station.