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Northern Pacific Railroad Museum
Anchoring the north end of Sixth Street is the Northern Pacific Railway Depot. The Chateauesque building is a stunning example of the types of stations that the Northern Pacific and other railways erected along their tracks. It features a cut stone foundation, brick first story, and stuccoed concrete second story beneath a steeply pitched hipped roof. A three-story tower with a conical roof occupies the southeast corner of the building, and a pent roof separates the first and second stories on the main facade. The first story’s unusual 12-inch yellow bricks were originally intended for the 7-story Olympian Hotel in Tacoma, the western terminus of the Northern Pacific. This hotel, which was modeled after the French chateau at Chaumont, was never finished, however, thwarted first by the 1893 financial collapse and then by an 1899 fire. Some 15,000 bricks were then shipped to Wallace for the Northern Pacific’s passenger station, which was completed in 1901.
In 1986, during the construction of I-90, an agreement between transportation and preservation interests resulted in the depot being moved 200 feet south across the Coeur d’Alene River to its present location. It is now houses the Northern Pacific Railroad Museum.
McKenzie, William A., Burlington Northern Railroad, Milwaukee, MN. Personal correspondence with author, 1980.
Wells, Merle, “Northern Pacific Railway Depot,” Shoshone County, Idaho. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1976. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.
Shelford, Nick. “The Northern Pacific Depot and the Compromise of Wallace.” Spokane Historical. Accessed January 17, 2019. http://spokanehistorical.org/.
Wood, John V. Railroads through the Coeur d'Alenes.Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1983.
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