Bradford Lee Gilbert
 
   
 

Flint & Pere Marquette Union Station
East Saginaw, Michigan

501 Potter Street
1881

Formally known to local residents as the "Potter Street Station".

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 1996  (96001378 NRIS)

From the Saginaw Daily Courier, Oct. 25, 1881 - "... the new depot is the largest railway passenger depot in the state. It is designed to be practical, substantial and businesslike. Nothing for mere ornamentation, ..."

Late Victorian Style: The station is 285 feet by 40 feet with two-and-a-half stories, square and hexagonal bays, and various chimneys and dormers. In the center of the station there was a tower 16 feet square by 75 feet high. The station is made of dark red brick, trimmed in limestone, terra-cotta and tile.  The first floor has a gentlemen's and ladies waiting room, each with 18 feet ceilings, and furnished of oak wainscoting and maple hardwood floors. The ladies waiting room has a spacious open fire place made of red terra-cotta and a Philadelphia brick mantle.  The first floor also boasted two baggage rooms and a restaurant.  The second floor consisted of offices for the railroad company as well as 4 fire and burglar proof vaults.  The third floor was devoted to janitors and storage.

Passenger service ended in 1950.  In 1990, a non-profit organization, Saginaw Depot Preservation Corporation (SDPC), purchased the station from CSX Transportation with the hopes of preserving it. Unfortunately, on April 16, 1991, the vacant building was involved in an arson fire.  The roof was a total loss, and the second floor was heavily damaged.  As a result, the SDPC fought countless battles in court with the city over demolition.  In 1993, the SDPC was able to obtain ISTEA funds from M-DOT to repair the roof.  A few years after the roof was rebuilt in 1996, the 75 foot tower fell inside the station causing minimal damage.

Today, the SDPC continues to apply for grants and seek donations.

There is an active railroad line with no available passenger service.

Sources of interest are shown at the bottom of this page.

Just click on a thumbnail image below to open the corresponding picture. 

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Sources:
Saginaw Depot Preservation Corporation

Potter Street Station (Facebook)

Potter Street Station (Website)

Eckert, Kathryn B., Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer, "Stations of Distinction." Michigan History Magazine,
       November / December 1993, pgs. 60 - 64.

Gilbert, Bradford Lee, Sketch Portfolio of Railroad Stations and Kindred Structures, 1895, [New York: Railroad Gazette]

Potter, Janet Greenstein, Great American Railroad Stations, 1996, pg. 349. [New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.]

"The New Flint & Pere Marquette Passenger Depot." Saginaw Daily Courier, October 25, 1881

Placzek, Adolf K., {Pearson, Marjorie}, Macmillion Encyclopedia of Architects, 1982, vol. 2, pg 201. [The Free Press]

Jezierski, John Vincent, Enterprising Images: The Goodridge Brothers, African American Photographers, 2000,
       pg. 182, [Detriot, MI: Wayne State University Press]

Zeff, Joel, "Gutted station a shell of glorious era", The Saginaw News,  Section A1, April 17, 1991

Wikipedia.org