HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Frisco Passenger Station
This postcard shows several pedestrians outside the newly remodeled Frisco Depot. There is no date on the card but presumably it was created soon after the expansion and remodeling of the station in 1926.
The station began its life in 1882 when the Gulf line built a large two-story depot at the corner of Mill and Main Streets. The 103' by 32' building was modern, with electric lights and steam heat. It included a lunch room built by the Fred Harvey Company on the west end of the depot.
In 1901 the Frisco took over the Gulf line. In the early to mid 1920s several newspaper articles speculated that a new depot would be built, but instead the Frisco hired architect R.C. Stevens to completely remodel and expand the building in the California mission style, a favorite of the railroad's president J.M. Kurn. The new brick and stucco building was 246' long and 65' to 77' wide. There was still a Harvey House Restaurant, now on the east side.
As railroad travel declined in the 1950s the depot saw fewer travelers. The popular Harvey House Restaurant was closed down in 1955, the last to close on the Frisco line. On December 9, 1967, the last passenger train left the station. There was talk in Springfield of turning the station into a shopping mall, but this never happened. The building immediately began to decline, as it was not secured from the public. Although placed on the Historic Sites Register of Springfield in 1975 in an effort to preserve it, the building was demolished on March 5, 1977.