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Richmond Railroad Depot Historic District

Railroad District ArchtectureThe Railroad Station Historic District comprises four city blocks.  The district has also been called the "Hoosier Bowery."  It is an architecturally significant group of 19th and early 20th century commercial and industrial buildings.  These structures housed businesses that were important to the economic development of the city and in some cases, to the county and southeastern Indiana.

Where Richmond was settled in 1806 this land was owned by Jeremiah Cox. In 1826 Cox sold his land to Charles and Elizabeth Starr, who were Quakers from Philadelphia. The Starr's then developed the area for commerce and industry. Charles Starr was instrumental in bringing the railroad to Richmond by donating the land for a train station. Foster's E Street GalleryThe Starr family also developed the Starr addition, Richmond's first subdivision.

The land was laid out along the former Quaker Trace, now Ft. Wayne Avenue. This road opened trade to Fort Wayne and was used in the underground railroad. Commerce was established with Cincinnati and became a chief market for goods produced in Richmond.  Until the coming of the railroad, goods were transported by wagon.

The district is the only 19th century commercial area of its size existing outside of Main Street.  A few of the buildings date back to the mid-1860's but the majority of the structures range from 1875 to 1910. The district is rich in architectural details with a concentration of Italianate motifs.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Station is the focal point of the district. It was designed in the office of Daniel Burnham, a famous architect from Chicago. The building was built in 1902 and is Neo-Classical in style.It was saved through the efforts of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Historic Richmond, Neighborhood Preservation Services, the Pennsylvania Railroad StationIndiana National Road Association and the Urban Enterprise Zone Association.

The railroad station is the third such building on this site. Richmond was an important rail center with the southwestern line of the Pennsylvania Railroad headquartered here. With the coming of the railroad, a large number of buildings went up in the neighborhood. Along with the commercial interests, many of Richmond's industries were located here. Companies like Gaar, Scott and Company, and Dille-McGuire were international manufacturers.

This information provided by:

Wayne County Historical Society
1150 North A Street
Richmond, IN  47374
(765) 962-5756


View additional photos of the historic railroad depot district on Flickr.


View Richmond Railroad Station Historic District in a larger map


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Did You Know?

Richmond native, C. Francis Jenkins, is recognized as the inventor of the first motion picture projector and was a pivotal inventor in early television.