Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
725 W MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Chicago and Northwest Railroad Passenger Station
Other Name:Garden Path Florist
Reference Number:7165
Location (Address):725 W MAIN ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1903
Survey Date:1986
Historic Use:depot
Architectural Style:Tudor Revival
Structural System:
Wall Material:Clapboard
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Chicago and Northwest Railroad Passenger Station
National Register Listing Date:3/28/1979 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:This depot was built for the Chicago and Northeastern railroad (C&NW) during the height of passenger train traffic in Watertown.

The C&NW railroad connections began as the Rock River Valley Union Railroad. In 1855, this company was sold, then consolidated with the Illinois and Wisconsin and its name changed to the Chicago, Fond du Lac and St. Paul Railroad. In 1856 track of this line reached Janesville from Chicago. Eventually the Chicago, Fond du Lac and St. Paul became part of the Chicago and Northwestern and in 1860 track reached Watertown. This passenger depot was constructed in 1903 and designed by the noted architect, Charles Sumner Frost. The depot was continued as a passenger depot until 1950. It was a freight depot until it closed in 1976. Since that time it has been renovated and used as retail space.

The depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 for architectural and historical significance. It is the work of noted architect Charles Sumner Frost and is locally significant because it represents the best and most extant resource related to the important railroad era in Watertown.

Designed in 1903 in the late Victorian picturesque style by the noted architect Charles Sumner Frost, the Chicago and Northwestern Depot has a steeple pitched roof with flared eaves and steeply pitched gabled dormers. Stickwork on the stuccoed gable ends, brackets under the eaves and exposed rafter ends ornament the surface.

The interior has been remodeled to accommodate the present retail use of the building.

The Chicago and Northwestern Depot is significant under criterion C as a well preserved example of Victorian architecture and as the work of the regionally prominent architect Charles Sumner Frost, who specialized in the design of small railroad stations. This depot is the most prominent of the historic railroad buildings remaining in the city and was listed in the NRHP in January 24, 1979. The other two railroad buildings remaining in the city include the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Freight Office at 1017 So. 5th (41-18) and the Milwaukee Depot between West and Lafayette (59-8).
Bibliographic References:(A) Vogel "The RR Depot In SE WI", manuscript in HPD files. (B) National Register Nomination Form - Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Passenger Station, Files, Preservation Division, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. (C) C.W. Butterfield, The History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1879. pp. 463-463.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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