Building Description Southern Pacific Railroad Train Depot, San Carlos California

Constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style in 1888, the Southern Pacific Depot at San Carlos is a one-story stone masonry building with a two-story tower on the trackside (northeast) facade. The building consists of separate depot and baggage rooms joined by a covered breezeway. The multi-hipped roof is clad in cut slate, and has sawn redwood ridge cresting details and sheet metal finials. The tower is crowned with a conical roof; the semi-circular bow window section at first story level served the station operator, while the circular section of the tower at second story level contained a tiny living space. Semicircular arched fenestration, characteristic of the Richardsonian Romanesque, dominates the trackside elevation. Except for minor alterations to the building and removal of the original landscaping, the depot retains its original appearance and fabric, giving it a remarkably high degree of integrity.

Multi-light windows placed in a large semi-circular arch illuminate the waiting room from trackside, while coupled windows provide illumination from the breezeway and streetside facades. The transom over the northeast entrance consists of a multi-light window within a semi-circular arch. The massive semi-circular arch is also repeated in the fenestration of the baggage room door. Tower fenestration is rectangular, with 4-light single hung windows surmounted by 15-1ight fixed sash at first-story level; the lower sash at the center of the operator's bow window also contained a mail drop slot. The upper portion of the tower is lit by 15-light pivotal windows. The remaining fenestration is rectangular, consisting of single and coupled 15/4 double-hung windows topped by multiple-light transoms.

The eaves of the main roof are broad and projecting, supported by lathe-turned knee braces which are fastened to vertical timbers set on projecting stone ancons. The main hipped roof wraps around the tower between the first and second story fenestration. The eaves of the conical tower roof are boxed and supported by a decorative wooden dentil course. The projecting bay at the northwest end of the building, originally housing the ladies' waiting room, also has clipped, boxed eaves above a wooden entablature strip. Other details include: two stone chimneys in the main block of the building; large sandstone voussoirs forming the arch rings of the various fenestration; a projecting rounded stone base course; and redwood gutters.

The building is only slightly altered: a porte cochere on the southwest (streetside) facade was removed in 193 7, and a portion of the porte cochere entrance porch has been enclosed in stucco walls, tinted and scored to imitate the original stone masonry. The extent of past interior alterations is unknown, as the station was used as a real estate office after 1967.