Union Station and Burlington Freight House

Also known as: Davenport Visitor's Center
120 S. Harrison St., Davenport, Iowa

Two story brick railroad station with dual façades & adjoining single story freight station.


Overview Looking Southeast

Union Station was built with two front façades, one facing the railroad and one facing the street.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning




"The Union Station and Burlington Freight House are two freestanding structures adjoined by a wood post and beam shelter.

The Station is a two-story, tan brick building constructed on a concrete foundation. The structure has a flat roof. The Union station is Classical Revival in style, with many elements (created of concrete) used to define the character of the style and lend the sense of timelessness associated with the Classic Revival. A stylized Greek temple front, applied to call attention to the building’s primary entrances, dominates the structure’s north and south elevations. The temple front features four engaged columns with tapered, square shafts and stylized capitals. The columns support a Classical entablature, complete with dentils, round medallions, and stepped fascia. The heavy cornice introduced by the entablature of the temple front carries around the perimeter of the building. Additional gravitas is created by the use of a heavy foundation, resembling the raised podium of the Greek temple.

The structure’s fenestration features arched window openings on the first floor and rectangular windows on the second. Concrete keystones highlight all of the windows.

A deep awning provides shelter for both of the primary entrances. These awnings, though historic, appear more suited to a theatre; perhaps they were introduced some years after the construction of the station.

The Burlington Freight House is a single-story structure, built with the same materials used in the Union Station. The building is clearly a storage facility, featuring docks with oversized doors on both the north and the south elevations (today, the south dock has been removed to accommodate the introduction of an access ramp.)

The fenestration is in keeping with that of the station, as is the architectural style. In the freight house however, details are limited to a single horizontal band of concrete and concrete sills."

From the description of Union Station in the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, State Historical Society of Iowa, Inventory Form for Union Station. Published by the Quad Cities Memory website as part of the Davenport Public Library.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 7, 1983
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Colonial Revival; Other architectural type; Georgian/Federal Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Rail-related; Warehouse
Current functions
Rail-related; Road-related
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • August 16, 2011: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status