Building a depot worthy of Glenwood
The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad’s original wooden depot was constructed on the corner of Seventh Street and Pitkin Avenue in 1887. Although adequate to handle the passenger traffic of the day, this small depot did not provide travelers with a good first impression of the elegant resort and health spa that was Glenwood Springs. Citizens demanded a new train station be built. However, the poor economic conditions of the 1890s combined with some public resistance to the idea postponed the depot’s replacement.Through the donation of land by the city of Glenwood Springs to the railroad, ground for the new depot was finally broken in May 1903. As the gateway to Glenwood Springs, the depot through its architectural design and construction materials complemented the architectures of the Hotel Colorado and of the stone bathhouse at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.Hailed as a major improvement over the “rickety old affair which had been called a depot,” the new Denver & Rio Grande train station experienced its first mass arrivals and departures of visitors on Strawberry Day, June 1904. From that moment on, the depot has directed the arrivals and departures of numerous passenger, military and ski trains. The depot has also welcomed the “Red Express” of Socialist Eugene V. Debs in 1908; presidential train of William Taft in 1909; and train of spiritual leader Abdul’-l-Baha in 1912; and provided a whistle-stop platform for President Harry Truman in 1948 and 1952. Today, Amtrak passengers arrive and depart Glenwood Springs through the depot that architecturally has remained unchanged from its construction of 100 years ago. “Frontier Diary” is provided to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed around 9 p.m. Thursday for a flash flood warning.