Jacksonville Terminal Union Station

1000 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

A Florida anomaly, the massive Jacksonville Terminal was a Neoclassical Revival–style rail complex was designed by New York-based architect Kenneth M. Murchison. His first major commissions were for railroad stations for the Pennsylvania Railroad company. Among the stations he designed are the Delaware Lackawanna Station in Hoboken, New Jersey; both the Lackawanna Terminal and the Lehigh Terminal in Buffalo, New York; and Pennsylvania Station in Baltimore, Maryland. Borrowing freely from the design of New York’s Pennsylvania Station, Murchison’s terminal design featured a façade of fourteen stately Doric columns anchoring a main waiting room with seventy-five-foot cathedral-like vaulted ceilings.

The $2.5 million terminal quietly opened its doors one minute after midnight on November 17, 1919. During its heyday, the terminal became the gateway to Florida for millions of railroad passengers, peaking in 1944 when nearly forty thousand trains passed through the terminal, carrying nearly ten million passengers. When Amtrak took over private railroad passenger train operations in 1971, three-quarters of the country’s passenger rail services were eliminated in a single day, reducing the need for grand railroad terminals in cities all across the country. Once employing over 2,500, by the end of 1973, passenger rail operations at the terminal had been reduced to a handful of Amtrak employees and two tracks for passenger trains. A victim of high modern maintenance costs and decreased rail travel, the Jacksonville Terminal closed for good on January 3, 1974. Added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the old passenger railroad terminal reopened as the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center in 1985.

(Bullet of Abandoned Florida)

The 2014 APA Florida Annual Conference at the Prime F. Osborn Convention Center. This 10,000 square foot meeting room was once the grand lobby for the largest train station in the country south of Washington, D.C.

Louisville and Nashville Passenger Station

239 North Alcaniz Street, Pensacola, FL 23501

The Louisville and Nashville Railroad constructed this passenger train depot outside of Downtown Pensacola in 1912. At the time, Pensacola was the third largest city in the state behind Jacksonville and Tampa. Passenger rail operations ceased at the depot in 1971. On June 11, 1979 the passenger rail station was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. In 1984, the station was renovated and incorporated into the construction of the Pensacola Grand Hotel. Today, the former passenger railroad station serves as the hotel’s lobby, retail and restaurant space.

(Pensacola Grand Hotel Facebook Page)

(Pensacola Grand Hotel Facebook Page)

MiamiCentral Station

600 NW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33136

Located in Downtown Miami, MiamiCentral Station occupies the site of a railroad station built in 1896 that served as the southern terminus of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway. FEC passenger operations ended with a worker strike in January 1963. In November 1963, the old terminal was razed. Construction on MiamiCentral Station begin in 2014 to serve the Brightline intercity passenger railroad service. Adjacent to Metrorail and Metromover stations, MiamiCentral is a mixed-use complex that includes three million square feet of retail, residential and office space. Eventually, the station will serve Tri-Rail commuter rail trains as well.