Stunning color photos of the old Lake Front Chicago & North Western Depot
At the foot of Wisconsin Avenue, some Milwaukeeans recall, there stood a gorgeous red brick and granite Romanesque Revival train station that many can't believe is gone (or ever even really existed).
Nearly four years ago, I shared some amazing LeRoy Augustine monochrome images of the station, which was at 901 E. Wisconsin Ave., along with some of its story. You can read that here for background, though I'm including some of it here, too.
Lake Front Depot, a Romanesque Milwaukee landmark, stood about where the Betty Brinn Museum is today from 1889 until 1968. The depot was built by the Chicago and North Western Railway and there was a time when nearly 100 trains a day pulled into or out of the station.
The station was designed by Maine-born architect Charles Sumner Frost, who drew plans for Chicago's Navy Pier and 127 buildings for the Chicago and North Western Railway. Others in Wisconsin designed by Frost include stations in South Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Racine, Beaver Dam, Madison, Ashland, Antigo and Green Bay.
In a description of a photo in its collection, the Milwaukee Public Library noted, "Thewas ... ... to the , was in . The at that was to the that, in a , the would the . ... The of the was the , the ."
The County bought the building and the land around it in 1946, and CNW continued to use the depot for another 20 years. The station was shuttered in 1966 and demolished in 1968.
Thanks to Karl Bandow – who has collected many old color slides of images shot by the late Ray Szopieray – we can see the vivid ones here, made in 1965 (except for one taken in '67).
Click here to see my Facebook album of photos of the landmark Milwaukee band The Velvet Whip taken on the ruins of the station before the site was completely cleared.
A fine example of the Romanesque Revival
It was falling into disrepair
The clocktower was an asset to the skyline
The view along Wisconsin Avenue
A truly lovely landmark
Karl Bandow has a piece of the terra cotta
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