I originally posted this information on my old website on March 26, 2009, and last updated it on December 18, 2009. I have since updated it.
Oregon City's original passenger depot was located downtown, right next to the municipal elevator. The depot was owned and operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The passenger trains of the Southern Pacific ceased stopping in Oregon City in 1954, though they would continue to pass through, even after being turned over to Amtrak in 1971. The unused passenger depot disappeared, and no trace of it remains today. Even the Southern Pacific itself disappeared into the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996.
The city of Oregon City wanted passenger trains to stop there again, and so the city built a new passenger platform across Washington Street from the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. On Friday, April 16, 2004, the new station platform was dedicated and Amtrak's Cascades trains began stopping in Oregon City.
A plaque at the depot features a 2005 depiction of an Amtrak Cascades train at the Oregon City station by Darla S. Cole. According to the plaque, the platform was dedicated in honor of John F. Williams, Jr., who was mayor of Oregon City from 1999 to 2002. The project was conceived during his administration and completed during the administration of Alice Norris. The station was designed by David Evans and Associates and built by Bill Erickson Construction. The plaque also includes the names of City Commissioners Edward Allick, Bob Bailey, Derrick Beneville, Gary Hewitt, Dan Holladay, Tom Lemons, Jack Lynch, and Doug Neeley, Members of the Urban Renewal Commission Bill Packus (Chair), Andy Busch, Debra Jones and Wende Sanchez, City Managers Brian Nakamura and Larry Patterson and Public Works Director/City Engineer Nancy Kraushaar.
This building was a freight depot for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Oregon City. It was originally located on the south side of Abernethy Creek near 16th Street. It was moved in the 1970s to the St. Johns area of North Portland. In 1986 it was purchased by Historic Properties LLC and moved to 1709 Washington Street in Oregon City (not far from its original location, and just down the street from the future location of the Amtrak depot) as office space called "The Depot," eventually housing Bill R. McCracken Accounting and Tax Service, Applied Handling NW, Inc., and Farmers Insurance.
The former freight depot was scheduled to be moved down Washington Street to the site of Oregon City's Amtrak depot in 2007 to serve Amtrak passengers as Oregon City's historic depot. It was finally moved on April 28, 2010.
The depot was placed on a raised concrete pedestal even higher than the track-level platform to raise the depot above the flood plain.
The existing passenger shelter and platform remained, as it was planned to lease out the space in the historic depot for other uses.
The project also included a new 50-space parking lot, and was not scheduled for completion until June 2010.
The following pictures were taken on September 11, 2010, after the project was completed.
The space under the pedestal was left open, except for chain link fencing to keep people out. Some of the space had a finished concrete pad, some was left as gravel, and some had bark chips. There is no clear intended use for this area. The height is too low for the space to be used as a public space.