Building Description Antigo Train Depot Station, Antigo Wisconsin

The Antigo Depot is a large brick building in the 500 block of Morse Street in Antigo, a small community in northern Wisconsin. The depot sits at the western edge of Antigo's downtown commercial district. It is surrounded on three sides by a large gravel driveway and parking lot. On the trackside of the depot there is a large lawn that was occupied until recently with railroad tracks of the Chicago Northwestern Railroad line. When the railroad vacated the tracks, this space became vacant and was converted to a lawn. There are no trees near the depot, and there are only a few small bushes around the building. A concrete platform spans the entire length of the depot on the trackside and it extends beyond the ends of the building on each side.

Built in 1907 for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, the two-story depot is constructed of locally produced red bricks and is trimmed with stone, metal, and wood. Its simple and unusual Classical Revival design was the work of architect Charles Sumner Frost, when he was a partner with Alfred Granger (Frost and Granger). The depot originally consisted of two separate buildings, a passenger station and a baggage room/express office, connected by a second-floor covered walkway. In 1945 the two buildings were permanently attached by the construction of a one-story locker room annex.

The passenger station has a gable roof with slightly projecting parapets at the gable ends. A parapet with a curvilinear gable rises above a projecting central entry pavilion. These parapets are topped with stone coping. A small narrow opening sits in the center of the entry pavilion parapet. A pressed metal gutter that is also the building's cornice spans both sides of the passenger station. It is supported by large wooden brackets.

Like the rest of the depot, the openings of the passenger station are boarded up and the glazing is not extant. Original drawings of the depot indicate that these windows were single-light double-hung sashes, placed primarily in pairs along the walls. On the trackside elevation, a group of these windows created a bay window that served as the outside ticket window.

On the second floor of both elevations, and on the first floor of the townside elevation, the windows are undecorated. But, on the trackside elevation, the windows are decorated by brick cornice lintels. All of the windows have stone sills. Separating the windows are pilaster strips.

On the trackside elevation, a shed-roofed overhang between the first and second stories spans the entire wall. This overhang is supported by large wooden kneebrace brackets. A similar overhang covers the main entrance on the townside elevation. The main entrance consists of two glazed wood paneled doors. The glazing has been boarded up. Two sets of similar doors flank the enclosed bay on the trackside elevation. Their glazing has also been boarded up as had their decorative sidelights and transoms.

A one-and-one-half-story staircase ell is attached to the south wall of the passenger station. It features a similarly-decorated roofline as the main station, and its small windows are boarded up. The annex that attaches the passenger station to the baggage room/express office is a one-story gable-roofed structure constructed of the same brick as the original buildings. The openings have been boarded up and are trimmed with brick cornice lintels and, in the case of window openings, with stone sills.

The baggage room/express office is also a two-story red brick building with a gable parapet at each end wall that is topped with stone coping. A pressed metal gutter/cornice spans both townside and trackside walls. Openings are boarded up, but original plans for the building indicate that they were glazed with single-light double-hung sashes. On the second floor these windows are undecorated. On the first floor they are decorated with brick cornice lintels. All of the windows have stone sills. At the south end of the building three of the windows have the iron bars originally designed for them by the architect. These iron bars protected the windows of the express office, which probably held large payrolls, since this was a division office for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.

There are three entrances on the townside of the baggage room/express office, four entrances on the trackside, and one entrance on the rear wall of the depot. At the south end of this part of the depot, the entrances consist of two wood-paneled doors with small single lights. Other entrances consist of single wood paneled doors decorated with transoms.

Like the exterior, the interior of the Antigo Depot is divided into two parts, connected by the annex. The main entry on the townside of the passenger station leads into a vestibule. Beyond the vestibule, through a set of wood and glass doors with large sidelights and transoms, there is a hallway that runs in front of the ticket office. On either side of this hallway are the two large passenger waiting rooms, one originally designed for men and one for women. The women's waiting room is the largest space, approximately 27' by 30'. The men's waiting room is approximately 17' by 30'. To the west of the men's waiting room is an extension of the ticket office. Off of each waiting room are small bathrooms.

The interior finishes on this floor of the passenger station are similar throughout. The floors are all terrazzo, except for the ticket office, which has a maple floor. The terrazzo floors are decorated with classical motifs. The walls and ceilings are plastered, and throughout this floor, there is wainscotting made up of wide horizontal oak boards with a dark stain. Dark oak trim accents the interior window and door openings. Interior wooden doors are all made from the same design. They all have two tall and narrow panels sitting over a large square panel. Much of the original hardware is extant. At this time, the plaster in this part of the depot is deteriorated and falling off the walls and ceilings. A heavy layer of dirt covers up much of the details of the terrazzo floors.

An oak staircase with plain oak posts and a simple balustrade leads to the second floor of the passenger station. This area of the depot is divided into the offices that served the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad's division headquarters. A long hallway divides up much of the second-floor space. Off of this hallway are five offices and a bathroom. At the end of the hallway is a large office (27' by 30') used for the train dispatchers. Two smaller offices (22' by 15' and 22' by 11') were originally intended for the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent of train operations for the division headquarters. Two smaller offices were unidentified on the original plans, possibly meant for clerks or secretaries. Another small office was marked as the timekeeper's office.

The interior finishes on this floor are simple and include wood floors, plaster walls and ceilings, and simple oak trim around doors and windows. Interior doors are identical to those of the first floor, except doors leading to the hallway are glazed. In 1949, acoustical tiles were added to the ceiling and walls in the large train dispatchers office.

Originally the two individual buildings that made up this depot were connected only by a second floor overhang, but in 1945, an annex was constructed linking the two buildings and making them one unit. This annex was built to house three locker rooms and a shower room for train employees. The walls and ceiling of this room are plastered and the floor is concrete.

The first floor of the baggage room/express office of the depot is divided into several irregular spaces. At the end of the building that is closest to the passenger station is the old dining room. Behind it is the old kitchen and the staircase to the second floor. Behind these spaces are two large (21 1 by 27' and 19* by 27') rooms, originally used for baggage and freight. At the south end of the baggage room/express office there are two small offices; one is the express office, and the other is the trainman's room.

In this area of the depot, the finishes are simpler, except for the old dining room, which has a terrazzo floor, plastered walls and ceilings, oak trim, and the same type of wainscotting as is seen in the waiting rooms in the passenger station. Some of the wood flooring in the baggage and express rooms has been replaced with concrete. The staircase leading to the second floor has simple wood posts and a simple balustrade.

The second floor of the baggage room/express office is divided into irregular spaces off of a small hallway. At the north end of this floor is a bathroom, a small storage room, and a small office. At the center of this floor is the two-room Division Engineer's office. Taking up all of the south side of this floor is the large drafting room with a vault.

Interior finishes in this part of the depot include plastered ceilings and walls, wood floors, and simple oak trim around doors and windows. Interior doors are wood paneled like those of the second floor in the passenger station, except those opening to the hallway are glazed.