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War Impedes Progress for a New Station

The first piece of the new facility was the placement of the I Street Bridge that was completed in 1911. This bridge allowed the mainline freight traffic to continue to pass south of the large central shops, serve the Arcade station with a sweeping curve, but the main purpose of the bridge placement was to access a future new station in a subsequent second phase. The new station would be placed on the filled lake bed that the City granted the railroad in exchange for eliminating the putrid water body. With track platforms centered on the city street grid of what correspond with 4th and H Streets the “new land” was located directly at the edge of the burgeoning commercial district.  

However, the completion of the facility would have to wait for more than a decade due to the nationalization of the railroads during a time of war and disputes the railroad had with the government afterward. World War I and the aftermath prolonged the implementation of the new station and its facilities, but work resumed in the early 1920’s to prepare for the new station. The celebrated San Francisco partnership of Bliss Faville Architects who had designed Espee’s San Francisco headquarters, were selected and design work commenced in 1924. After much fanfare, the station opened on February 27, 1926. The facility was billed as “state of the art” with 6 new butterfly-canopy platforms, a coach servicing yard between the platforms and the mainline tracks south of the shops. This new platform arrangement required a sharp curve on the east end to connect back to the mainline near 7th Street and within this triangular perimeter were placed the passenger servicing facilities and large wood shed building that separated the depot from the industrial shops and freight lines to the north.

Passenger Traffic photo