Union Station

Also known as: Atlantic Coast Line Station , Southern Railway Station, California Dreaming at Union station
401 S. Main St., Columbia, South Carolina

Historic railroad depot gets a second chance at life


Union Station

Aug. 13, 1993

Photo taken by Camera Totin' Idiot (No real name given)


Street View 


Built in 1902, this station served both Southern Railway and Atlantic Coast Line while a seperate station served Seaboard Air Line about a mile away. After it's last passenger train pulled out in 1968, the station eventually get a second lease on life as a California Dreaming.

A baggage facility burned down in 1977 on the Assembly Road side.

Designed by Frank P. Milburn, a prominent Southeastern architect, the ca. 1902 Union Station is an excellent example of turn of the century eclectic architecture. Inspired by English Manor House designs of the sixteenth century, the stepped gables, the combination of brick and stone, and the towering chimneys place the building within the mainstream of Jacobethan Revival architecture in America. Milburnís specialty was large public buildings. He also designed railway stations for New Orleans, Atlanta, Savannah and Knoxville. Milburnís architectural credo was the progressive cry of his day Ė to erect ďartistic as well as durable buildings.Ē He insisted upon using only materials of the highest quality and accepted only the finest workmanship. The attention given to decorative details in Union Station, such as the carved wooden brackets, the oriental inspired ironwork, and the acanthus capitals, displays Milburnís emphasis on quality of design and materials. Without sacrificing design or proportion, Milburn created a functional structure for railroad travel at the beginning of the twentieth century. The building was open to the public on January 14, 1902. Listed in the National Register June 19, 1973. - SCDHA

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 19, 1973
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Tudor Revival; Other architectural type; Jacobethan Revival
Areas of significance
Transportation; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1902; 1915
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • October 11, 2018: New photo from Michael Miller
  • August 26, 2018: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson
  • October 20, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description"
  • June 7, 2013: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson
  • February 26, 2013: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson
  • January 15, 2013: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson
  • January 14, 2013: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Added several links to historical photos of Union Station
  • December 21, 2012: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Added new source
  • December 20, 2012: New Street View added by Joseph Hinson
  • December 5, 2012: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Updated history and added photos