The historic Santa Fe Depot (now The Ashton Depot) was originally opened on March 1, 1899 in response to a growing demand for railroad service in Fort Worth. It has both witnessed and contributed to over a century of Texas memories. Built during a time when train lines were expanding cross- country and passenger travel was heavy, the depot served as a relief for nearby stations. In the early days, passengers traveled for necessity, as trains or wagons were the primary modes of transportation, but by the 1920’s, rail stations were roaring, as was the rest of the country. Oil was booming, wealth abounded, and people began using train travel for leisure purposes.
In 1938 the depot was renovated and modernized as part of an extensive program undertaken by the Fort Worth Union Passenger Station and the Santa Fe Railroad. The station served several lines until 1960, when the Santa Fe became the sole railroad using the facility; the building was thus renamed the Santa Fe Depot. Amtrak operated passenger rail service out of the station between 1973 and 1995. Additionally, the Santa Fe Depot was listed both in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1970.
Today, the neoclassical Beaux Arts-Style terminal has been restored to its original beauty and distinctiveness. The original stained glass windows, barrel-vaulted ceilings, and marble floors are stunning, emanating an atmosphere of effortless style and grace. Although the name of the architect remains a mystery, we do know that the structure was built by the contracting firm of Smith and Bardon during the late 1800’s at an approximate cost of $50,000 and it was considered an architectural jewel.
The Santa Fe Depot was purchased in 1999 by Shirlee and Taylor Gandy, Fort Worth natives who were inspired by the idea of salvaging and transforming the Depot into an elegant downtown Fort Worth venue.
Today the Ashton Depot accommodates galas, grand weddings and other important social events and is perfect for distinguished corporate entertaining. Its central location, historic architecture, grand scale and superb cuisine make it a perfect venue.
An appointment for a site tour can be arranged by calling 817.810.9501. You must be accompanied by one of our staff to be admitted to the site.