Historic Structures

Building Description Southern Pacific Railroad Train Station, Brownsville Texas

The twelve-bay front, one—story, rectangular building is approximately forty-eight feet by one hundred twenty eight feet. (Dimensions from the plans show 47'-16" x 128'-15".)

The building layout consists of a central eastwest block, (holding ticket office, inner east and west waiting rooms, rest rooms, utility and furnace rooms); and two smaller and lower blocks extending from each end (holding a baggage room on the west end and a once-open, now enclosed waiting room on the east end).

The waiting rooms which occupied most of the central block were themselves divided into two east and west waiting areas. Each of these areas had doors into the once open waiting room at the east end.

The two, paired, main station entrances on the southwest, front, or Madison Street facade of the main building opened into the waiting rooms from opposite sides of the blind central bay whose walls concealed the ticket office directly behind it.

The open waiting room extending across the east end of the main building block composes approximately three-fourths of its northeast facade. Doors opening from the northeast end of the open waiting room led to the train-shed area.

The baggage room occupied the west-end addition of the station. It had as its main entrance a Madison Street entrance just beyond the main station entrances to the waiting rooms on the southwest or Madison Street facade. There are two double openings on the northwest or end facade, and a double opening on the northeast facade opening into the train-shed area.

The plans, as originally designed, had a "Colored" waiting room -the west half of the main block, next to the baggage room, and a "Colored" men's toilet behind the furnace room reached by six steps down from the north corner of the west waiting room. A "Colored" women's toilet was connected to the utility room, "White" women's toilets and rest rooms opened off the north wall of the east waiting room.

In the space once occupied by both east and west waiting rooms some half-partitions have been added to create small office cubicles. The women's toilets and rest rooms on the north side of the inner east waiting—room wall have been removed and house an office now.