A Lingering Look at Windows: Week 16

This weekly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.

Union Station in San Diego, California, much more commonly known as the Santa Fe Depot, is a train station built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to replace the small Victorian-style structure erected in 1887 for the California Southern Railroad Company.  The massive arch of the front entrance is flanked by twin campaniles, each topped by a colourful tile-covered dome and displaying Santa Fe’s blue “cross” emblem on all four sides.

santa fe station

It’s quite difficult to get a good shot of the exterior of this building due to the numerous palm trees surrounding it, except from above.

sante fe exterior

Santa fe from above

The Spanish Colonial Revival style station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its architecture, particularly the signature twin domes, is often echoed in the design of modern buildings in Downtown San Diego. The magnificent complex was designed by San Francisco architects Bakewell and Brown as a “monumental reminder” of California’s Spanish heritage.

santa fe

The grand interior space of the depot features natural redwood beam ceilings, highlighted by walls covered with a brightly coloured ceramic tile wainscot. Not forgetting the beautifully curved windows.

Ladies Room


The glazed faience tile used in the wainscot was manufactured by the California China Products Company of nearby National City. Elaborate Hispano-Moorish designs are executed in green, yellow, blue, white, and black and the bottom and top edges are finished with a frieze of stylised ziggurats

To the Trains

The structure draws much more heavily from the architecturally distinctive Spanish, Moorish, and Mexican lines exhibited by the Mission San Luís Rey de Francia (located in the town of Oceanside in north San Diego County) than it does from the nearby Mission San Diego de Alcalá, some nine miles (14 km) away.

The historic depot is located in Centre City (Downtown San Diego) and is still an active transportation center, providing services to Amtrak, the San Diego Coaster, the San Diego Trolley, and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System bus system.

Main Entrance

Warning - before you enter

And though the station is beautifully designed both inside and out, the warning on the door windows is somewhat frightening.

santa fe from above 1

Source: Wikipedia

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

14 thoughts on “A Lingering Look at Windows: Week 16”

  1. I love this one Jude. The interior reminds me of the inside of a Turkish mosque. Shame about the huge glass tower blocks being allowed to dwarf it out of the cityscape though.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. The interior is gorgeous! I was so struck by the vastness, the ceiling, the light streaming through those curved windows. It didn’t feel like a waiting room!
      At least as an Historic Building, they won’t be able to replace it. Hopefully!

  2. Beautiful building, great shots. I love the richness of the wood and the light streaming in. Scary sign though, but I’ve seen that a few times but never on a door like that. Love San Diego for many reasons, a really beautiful city.

    1. Thanks Sherri 🙂 The sign reminded me of the adverts for medication on TV in the US where they spend 10 minutes going through ALL the side effects. My OH and I look at one another and think why would anybody take it then?

      I rather like SD too, been fortunate to visit a few times as OH works for a company based there and sometimes has to ‘pop’ over for a meeting 😀

    1. That light was perfect! Though the people waiting gave me some funny looks! I wonder if the sign is a California thing?

  3. What a beautiful building, Jude. The interior finishes are fabulous, but that sign might put me off going inside. I trust you had no ill effects from your visit.

    1. I’m too old to worry about reproduction 😉 and I reckon if it really was a risk, they’d close the place down. Probably there in case someone sues them.

  4. Beautiful place! I hope i get to see California one day. I have a cousin who lives there and takes wonderful photographs o their weekend jaunts.
    I wonder what the substance is though. Although quite frankly it could be anything man made.
    We make fun of California for being so freakishly liberal and environmentally crazy but they are usually simply ahead of the rest of the country (either that or they simply set the bar). The latest is plastic drinking straws which are on the ballot to become illegal in San Fransisco.

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