The first train "Rode the Varnish" into Pueblo, Colorado, on the Narrow Guage rails in July. 1872. It was the Denver & Rio Grande, owned by General William J. Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs.
Designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Sprague and Newell, the Depot construction began in 1889 and was finished a year later. The original cost was approximately $400,000. Constructed of Manitou Red Sandstone, the station consists of a four story rectangular main building flanked on either side by wings. Its style is Romanesque Revival, a very popular choice for public buildings in the late 19th century. The depot interior was considered a magnificent achievement. Its decor was accented by mosaic tile flooring, richly polished, hard wood wainscoating, numerous stained glass windows, and ornate iron decorative gates and fences.
The Depot handled hundreds of thousands of immigrants, travelers, World War l and ll troops en-route to both Coasts and of course National politicians stumping the Countryside. By 1975 it was dormant and only used a few times a day.
Fortunately The Pueblo Union Depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Today the elegant old Queen of the Historic District is in the hands of caring owners who gladly open the Depot to the public. It is now the scene for Grand Wedding parties, Graduations, Sales meetings, and numerous dances and Ethnic celebrations. A great tribute to those who had the faith to keep it the finest example of Red Stone Depot architecture in the United States today.