Building Description Lebanon Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, Lebanon Oregon
The Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, located in Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon, is a one story combination station, handling both freight and passenger traffic. Measuring 25 by 135 feet, it is a wood frame building with a rectangular floor plan based on Southern Pacific's Standard Station railroad pattern book architecture. Built in 1908 by a Southern Pacific construction crew, it has stood vacant since 1985 when Southern Pacific terminated freight traffic on that line and leased the track out to Burlington Northern.
The Southern Pacific Railroad Depot is located two blocks west of US Highway 20 in Lebanon, Oregon, in Section 10, T12S R2W. It is situated on the extreme northeast corner of the block bounded by West Grant Avenue, Fourth Street, Sherman Avenue, and Third Street. The depot is located directly east of the double track that runs through that block. The depot building is bounded by a sidewalk on the north, an asphalt paved road on the east side which comes to the edge of the depot wall, on the south side by vacant parcel land, and on the west by a double track. Across the tracks, there is a ca. 1881 timber-frame grain warehouse. In all aspects, the depot has retained a high degree of integrity. Though it is currently in fair physical condition, the depot is slated for rehabilitation using federal funds.
This combination depot, designed to handle freight and passenger service, is separated into two main areas corresponding to the public area of the building where passengers and station staff could interact with one another, such as the waiting room and depot office area in the north end; and into the back area corresponding to the baggage and freight functions in the south end. The depot is currently painted a Colonial yellow with the windows and door trim painted a light brown. The wood vertical "skirt" on the east side of the depot is painted a dark brownish red, as are the 7" x 11" heavy timber pilings flanking the lower portion of the east freight doors. The pilings appear to be placed in this location to protect the building from damage occurring during loading and unloading freight on the road side.
The depot floor is supported by a wood post and pier foundation. Wood joists measuring 2" x 10" rest on the depot foundation sills and two 8" x 8" girders which run N-S beneath the building. The depot walls are composed of wood stud construction with corner posts measuring 5 1/2"x 6" and a plate composed of one board. The depot has a roof truss system. Vertical tongue and groove skirting hides and protects the lower part of the building on the east elevation from the baggage room to end of the freight area. A board measuring 9 1/2" in width serves to separate the vertical skirting and horizontal siding which clads the building. Wood ventilation grates are located approximately two inches off the ground on the west elevation, north and east elevations of the depot.
The exterior walls are clad with horizontal drop siding measuring 5" to the weather, with a flat planar surface of 3 3/4". The walls are broken into regular sections by vertical wood boards measuring 1" x 4" some of which serve as points of attachment for the roof eave brackets. Each corner is protected by butted corner boards measuring 1" x 8 1/2" and 1" x 9".
There are seven freight doors; three on the east elevation adjacent to the road; one on the south elevation; and three on the west elevation on the track side of the depot. All freight doors correspond to the interior freight room layout. Freight doors are made of thin, vertical tongue and groove boards which are divided into four panels by two centrally located, perpendicular chamfered battens. The door on the south elevation is slightly narrower than the other freight doors.
The depot has three pedestrian entry doors. The main entrance door is located on the west elevation and leads from the tracks into the passenger waiting room. The door has six horizontal panels with a three light transom sash and a mail slot located in the fourth panel from the top. A second entry door is located on the east elevation and also opens into the waiting area. It is a five horizontal panel door with a transom three light sash. A duplicate door is also located on the east elevation, just south of the other door, and is the entrance to the furnace room.
The depot has thirteen windows, with un-molded stick work serving as the exterior window casing. All are large, six over six double hung windows detailed with lambs tongues unless otherwise noted. The north elevation has two tall windows. The lights in the bottom sash of the western most window have been replaced with a single light sash. The east elevation has a small, square, highly placed, bathroom window (configuration unknown as it is missing); two tall windows corresponding to the passenger waiting area and depot office, and a small window located near the roof line, corresponding to the upstairs records room. On the south elevation, in the gable, there is a single two light horizontal window which currently has a wire screen instead of glass. The three freight doors on the west elevation have a seven light transom sash, incorporated into the wall. A rectangular bay, also on the west elevation, has five windows, three on the face of the bay and one on each side of the bay. The bay served as the station master's observation post and light source for his built-in desk.
The depot has a gable roof line with a pent roof on the north and south elevations. The roof is currently sheathed in standing seam sheet metal. Sections of this metal roof have deteriorated at the edges revealing asbestos shingles and two layers of wood shingles underneath. In the southwest corner of the roof, the sheet metal sheathing and asbestos shingles are completely missing, exposing the wood rafters to the elements. The roof eaves have a wide overhang over the body of the depot and extend further across the bay window on the west elevation. The eaves are supported by single brackets at regularly spaced intervals. These brackets are long and slender with a shallow decorative notch at the center of each. The soffits are composed of thin tongue and grove wood strips. A fascia board covers the ends of the exposed rafter tails. The roof line is accentuated with torus crown molding. This molding in conjunction with a frieze board is also located on the north and south roof elevations. The depot signboard hardware is located on the top of the north and south pent roof. A short chimney protruding from the top center of the roof is missing the upper brick courses.
A heavy timber frame loading ramp swings around the south end of the depot. The ramp is two feet away from the south wall. It levels out to a platform approximately 3 feet off the ground on the west trackside elevation, ending with a small six step stair to the north edge of the middle west freight door.
The interior is organized from north to south into three clearly separated areas; the public waiting area, the station office, and the baggage room and the freight room. Walls and ceilings of the passenger area and the office are composed of vertical tongue and groove while the freight area lacks this interior wall and ceiling treatment. Instead, the structural members of the building are very visible in this area along with an exposed roof truss systems and stud walls. In the freight room, horizontal boards cover the lower half of the walls. The plate consists of one board, with the exception at the southern end of the freight room where it is comprised of two boards.
Entering the depot from either the trackside or roadside pedestrian entry, the waiting room is the first space one sees. The interior is painted a pale mint green and white with black borders. The floor is composed of unpainted Douglas fir floor boards measuring 3 inches in width and laid east/west. The waiting room and office area are now open, but evidence indicates that a wall may have separated these spaces in the past. Currently, a counter in the shape of a shallow "c" separates these areas. A fixed passenger bench is located along the north wall. The bench, which curves and extends to the west entrance door, is currently painted black. Mint green paint is evident in areas where the black paint has flaked off, indicating that the bench was painted the same color as the walls in the past. In the northeast corner of the depot is a partition wall enclosing a 8' x 12' restroom. The rest room consisted of a toilet and sink that have been removed.
Along the south wall of the office are seven white wood floor cabinets whose doors open outward to reveal horizontal shelving. The cast metal, convex face door knobs have a flower motif imprinted on them and appear to be the original door hardware and cabinets. The door to the baggage/freight room is also located along the south wall of the office.
On the west wall, set into the rectangular bay window, is the station master's desk and observation post. The desk was composed of wood and was directly attached to the west wall at the base of the windows. Attached perpendicular to the west wall, and partially obscuring the bottom of the singly placed six over six double hung window are 41" tall cabinets with a counter that divide the waiting area from the office area. These cabinets have sliding doors with horizontal shelves, serve as a counter and curves inward (south) and is the only one that has a door that opens outward. The placement of these cabinets suggests that they were installed after the depot had been in operation a number of years.
The ceiling is made of thin tongue and groove siding laid vertically on the walls and continuing N-S across the ceiling with a quarter round wood molding at the wall and ceiling juncture. All of the light fixtures have been removed, leaving poles that are attached to the ceiling with exposed wires at their ends.
The baggage room to the south of the office is located three steps above the waiting/office floor level. There is one six over six window to the east as one enters the room and a small, narrow three panel, sliding window between the baggage and the office which allowed the office staff to communicate with the other staff members working in the freight area. The floor, walls, and ceiling of the baggage area are rough unfinished wood boards and 1" x 4" studs. To the south of the baggage room, there is an open doorway that leads to the freight room. To the west of that doorway, there is a straight flight, wood, open stringer stair along the south baggage room wall that leads to the records room. Inside, there are bookshelves along three sides of the room, with a small window on the east. Additional bookshelves are located in the center of the room, placed back to back. On the north wall, there is a small door panel about 4 feet off the ground, located between the book shelves which opens into the closed roof truss over the waiting room and office area.
The freight room is on the south end of the depot and takes up the majority of the space. The floor is made of wide wood planks running north and south and in areas where repairs have been made, east and west. The ceiling is a Queen Post? open truss system spanning the entire length of the depot. The trusses and the walls have a white wash finish, except for the brown, horizontal board, wall which extends halfway up on each elevation wall. Two of the six sliding freight doors have the original, patented in 1907, three point spade, sliding door roller hardware while the remaining four freight doors have horseshoe shaped roller door hardware with varying degree of completeness. A coal bin in the southeast corner of the freight room is surrounded by a wood wall.
The depot has had a number of alterations since it was completed. On the west, trackside elevation, physical evidence in the form of a faint paint line, along with historic photographs, confirms that the exterior wood freight platform on the west elevation extended to the south end of the bay window. Evidence suggests that the roof cladding has been replaced at least three times. There are two layers of wood shingles, an asbestos shingle layer above it, and finally the sheet metal cover. In addition to these changes, the Lebanon station sign boards at the north and south roof pent edges are missing. However, the attaching hardware is still there. The windows have remained unchanged with the exception of the first window on the north elevation. The bottom sash of the six over six window has been replaced with single light. All of the depot windows are currently boarded up with plywood and corrugated steel. An opening in the east wall, next to the southern most tall window, suggests that an air conditioning unit was located there at some point in the past and has since been removed. The opening is now covered with plywood.
The interior has seen few changes. A restroom in the northeast corner was added by a Southern Pacific Railroad Company construction crew in 1914, seven years after the station was completed. Interior evidence in the form of a faint paint and caulking line on the waiting/office area ceiling suggests that there was a wall separating these two areas in the past. Date of the alteration is unknown. The Station master's desk within the bay window has been destroyed, date unknown.