Atlanta Union Station of 1871

Atlanta Union Station of 1871

Atlanta's second Union Station was built at the site of its 1853 predecessor, on the block bounded by Central Avenue, Wall Street, Pryor Street, and Alabama Street, in downtown Atlanta. Designed by Max Corput, it served the city for nearly sixty years before being replaced in 1930 by the third Union Station on Forsyth Street. A parking structure now covers the site.

Atlanta Union Depot of 1871

{Library of Congress)

Atlanta Union Station of 1871

Second Atlanta Union Station

The six-story building on the left is the first Kimball House hotel. It burned in 1883 but was soon replaced. Behind the station is the three-story Markham House hotel. (See Hotels at the Depot).

Interior view of 1871 Atlanta Union Station

Interior view from an 1880 stereoscopic photograph by J. L. Schaub.
(Online at The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. 1880. Passenger Depot, Atlanta, Ga.)

The fan-shaped center arch was later replaced by a huge arched window as seen above.

Second Atlanta Union Station

On the right, behind the station, the three-story red-brick building with a cupola is the Georgia Railroad Freight depot, most of which still stands. It lost its upper two floors and cupola in a 1935 fire.

The autos in this photo are parked along Wall Street beside the Kimball House. The station has lost a corner steeple.

This mid-20th century view shows the same area as the photo above it, but the station has been demolished and the streets have been elevated. The Kimball House is in the upper left corner (too dark to see details); an elevated parking deck occupies the station site; and the elevated Plaza Park stands over the railroad tracks. Its three mushroom-shaped canopies were built around vents for steam locomotive smoke.

In the upper right corner are the Washington Street and Central Avenue viaducts, the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot, and the L&N Freight Depot.

Site of 1871 Atlanta Union Station

The Union Station site today. The view is to the southeast, the same as in the old photos above. Pryor Street is in the foreground. Central Avenue and Georgia State University are in the background. CSX Railroad and MARTA tracks are below. Underground Atlanta is to the right.

Suggested Reading:

David H. Steinberg and the Southeastern Railway Museum. When Atlanta Took the Train. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2018. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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