||With the arrival of the railroad in Abilene in 1881, a railroad car was used as the first depot. In 1882, a two-story structure was built consisting of a passenger waiting room, office space, dining and a hotel on the second floor. Located a few blocks from here, the depot was replaced with a one-story wood building in 1902. In response to growing public efforts, the Texas & Pacific Railroad announced in 1907 a plan to erect a new depot.
Construction began in May 1910 and included a brick and concrete building with a tile roof. The Texas & Pacific Railroad Depot is a rectangular, one-story building displaying an eclectic blend of mission revival and prairie school influences. Surmounted by a hipped tile roof with gabled dormers, the depot features a projecting gable over the north first street entrance, opposite an octagonal tower. Over a battered stucco base, the red brick walls rise to a molded cornice, with corner quoins, stringcourse and decorative details at the dormers executed in stucco or cast stone. The windows originally had multi-light upper sashes with a row of diamond panes at the top.
On March 14, 1911, thousands of people gathered to hear former President Theodore Roosevelt speak. In 1936, the works progress administration built a section of elevated track with concrete underpasses with passenger stairs to track level. The depot open freight bay was enclosed in 1947 and the dormers were removed from the main roof and tower in 1953. The passenger terminal closed in 1984 and the depot was donated to the city of Abilene in 1991. The city, in partnership with the Dodge Jones Foundation, completely restored the depot and it reopened in 1994.
RECORDED TEXAS HISTORIC LANDMARK – 2016