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Union Pacific Depot

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Oregon Short Line Railroad Depot
1915, Carl Stradley. East end of W. Bonneville St.
  • (Photograph by D. Nels Reese)

In 1877, railroad magnate Jay Gould of the Union Pacific Railroad acquired and extended the Utah and Northern Railway, which had previously stopped at the Utah border. “Pocatello Junction,” as it was first called, was a stop on the way to Montana and the rich copper ore country. As the Oregon Short Line gained momentum, it moved its main Idaho operations to Pocatello, encouraging the town to incorporate in 1893. This Oregon Short Line Depot was built in 1915 and later became an integral part of the Union Pacific System. Constructed at a cost of $324,000 by the Lynch-Cannon Engineering Company of Salt Lake, the passenger and freight depot was designed and built under the supervision of Carl Stradley, chief engineer of the Oregon Short Line. President William Howard Taft was in attendance at the grand opening in August of 1915.

The symmetrical building features a three-story center block and is flanked with two-story wings. The three grand arches that form the front entry pay homage to the larger stations in Salt Lake City that also feature grand tri-part arches. Here, the arches are defined by alternating voussoirs of brick and ashlar. The base of the building is slightly battered and dressed in light ashlar stone. The upper stories are finished in red brick and topped off by a strong denticulated cornice.

The Union Pacific continued to use the station until 1970 and Amtrak serviced the Pocatello area from 1977 to 1997. As of 2015, local preservationists are in pursuit of uses for the station.


Attebery, Jennifer Eastman, and Terrance W. Epperson, “Pocatello Historic District,” Bannock County, Idaho. National Register of Historic Places Inventory–Nomination Form, 1982. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

Neil, J. Meredith. Saints and Oddfellows, A Bicentennial Sampler of Idaho Architecture. Boise, ID: Boise Gallery of Art Association, 1976.

Writing Credits

D. Nels Reese
Anne L. Marshall
Wendy R. McClure
Phillip G. Mead
D. Nels Reese



  • 1915

    Designed and constructed

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D. Nels Reese, "Union Pacific Depot", [Pocatello, Idaho], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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