• RSS feed
  • Facebook logo
  • Twitter logo
  • YouTube logo

The Architecture of the Northfield Depot

Northfield's 1889 Milwaukee Road Depot, as of July 2010. Used with permission of D. Sudermann

With a swooping hip roof and flared eaves held up by decorative timber brackets, Northfield’s Milwaukee Depot offers an example of an architectural style typical of many Midwest train stations from 1870-1900. The large overhang gives passengers shelter when sitting or standing outside.

Regional Depots with Similar Architectural Elements

An excellent Midwestern example of “Richardsonian Vernacular” is the Rock Island Depot in Iowa City.

Chicago, Rock Island & St. Paul Station in Iowa City, 1898.


Closer to home is the beautifully restored Milwaukee Depot in Montevideo, Minnesota. This depot was featured in the 2005 film “Sweet Land” and is now part of a railroad museum.

Milwaukee Depot in Montevideo, Minnesota, ca. 1890.


The immediate inspiration for the Northfield depot was probably the Milwaukee Depot in Decorah, Iowa, which railroad officials from Northfield visited in September 1888.

Milwaukee Depot in Decorah, Iowa. Photo: Bobak Ha'Eri, Wikipedia, 2009


1917 expansion of the Northfield depot. Railroad architects planned to expand the Northfield depot in 1917, but the project was never carried out. This design will guide the planned restoration.

Planned expansion of 1917 for the Northfield Depot (click to enlarge)