Historic Structures

Hartford & New Haven Railroad Passenger Depot, Windsor Connecticut

Date added: January 21, 2022 Categories: Connecticut Train Station Second Empire

The Hartford and Springfield Railroad began service through Windsor in December 1844. At that time, a depot was built on the site. In May 1847, the Hartford and Springfield Railroad merged with the Hartford and New Haven Railroad, retaining the latter name. The original depot was replaced with the current passenger building in 1871. In 1872, the Hartford and New Haven Railroad merged with the New York and New Haven Railroad, forming the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. This merger created the largest and most powerful railroad in New England.

The railroad station in Windsor Center was a major factor in the extensive residential and commercial development which took place during this period. The railroad claimed that it was a 12-minute train ride from Windsor to Hartford, making it an easy commute for Hartford businessmen. The rich architecture of the depot reflects this importance.

This is a one and one-half story building with a small wing to the north. There is a full basement under the main structure and the wing. The main body's dimensions are 25'9" (north and south elevations) x 62'6" (east and west elevations - parallel to the tracks). The wing is 14'6" (north) x 13'0" (east and west).

The walls are constructed with red brick laid in seven course English bonding. Walls are two bricks or 7-1/2-inches thick. Brick dimensions are 7-1/2" x 3-1/2" x 2-1/4".

In its original layout, the main floor plan has two major room and several small spaces. The two large rooms are the gentlemen's and ladies' waiting rooms, each 21' x 23'. These rooms are separated by the staircase and the ticket office. South of the gentlemen's waiting room is the baggage room, measuring 8' x 12' and the telegraph office at 8' x 10'. To the north of the ladies' waiting room is the ladies' side room, measuring 12'4" x 12'8".

The attic is an open, unfinished space. The truss system for the main and canopy roofs consumes a considerable amount of available space.

The primary facade (facing the tracks) has a compass orientation to the west. The actual site contains two buildings, the passenger depot and the freight depot. These two buildings sit diagonally from each other, across the intersection of the tracks and Central Avenue.