Southern Pacific Depot (1889)
1713 Tulare Street
The Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, more than any other building in the city, represents the growth of Fresno from a barren plain into the agri-business capital of the world. The Central Pacific Railroad, which became the Southern Pacific in 1884, began a line through the Central Valley from San Francisco to Los Angeles shortly after completing its part of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. The Fresno Station was established on that line in 1872, and a wood frame depot constructed. In 1889 the Southern Pacific designated Fresno as its main Central Valley freight terminal; it removed the 1872 depot and replaced it with a spacious new passenger and freight depot. The Daily Evening Expositor on July 6, 1889, reported that "from San Francisco to Los Angeles there is no depot that can be compared with the one to be constructed in Fresno. It will be a model building of the latest style of architecture."
Truck transportation and decreasing passenger traffic forced the depot's closure in 1971. One of two Queen Anne-influenced stations in California and a symbol of Fresno's founding, it remains one of the city's most significant historical and architectural landmarks.