This Mission Revival style train depot in the City of Riverside was originally built in 1904 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad. The railroad, affiliated with Union Pacific from the beginning, was absorbed into UP in 1921. Passenger service was discontinued in 1971 and the depot was closed.
When Union Pacific extended its shared track arrangement with AT&SF to West Riverside and built a new connection between UP and AT&SF, the use of the short segment of track which included the depot in downtown Riverside was abandoned in the 1980s. Most of the local industrial sidings in the downtown area are now gone, but new tracks were laid for the nearby Metrolink (commuter) station in the 1990s.
Abandoned for nearly thirty years, the depot was revived in 2000 by a new business, the Coffee Depot, a coffee house. The coffee house served breakfast, lunch, and beverages all day and hosted nightly events that included live music, theatrical performances, foreign films, dancing, and comedy. The Coffee Depot remained open for a decade, closing in December of 2010 when the owners intended to move to Simi Valley, California.
When I made these photographs on January 11th, there was some construction or building maintenance work going on in the back. I have no idea what new enterprise will be housed in the depot, but it will be interesting to see.
I’ve always liked the look of the building. I think it would look much better if the signs read, “Moto Depot” and the building hosted a vintage and classic motorcycle museum, a “road food” restaurant that catered to motorcycling groups, and had a large section of re-striped pavement in the parking lot for Motorcycle Only parking. The Moto Depot could host weekend events such as Motorcycle Shows, Poker Runs, Rides, Motor Clinics, and a place to display motorcycles For Sale By Owner, etc. Oh, and can I have the exterior signs in neon?
That’s my daydream for the building. All I have to do is find the winning lotto ticket that I misplaced…
Photographs made with a Nikon FG and Kentmere 100 film.