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The historic Spanish Colonial Revival-style Claremont Depot (well documented on two plaques on the building) opened in 1927 and was designed by Santa Fe Railroad architect William H. Mohr. The unique station features concrete churrigueresque trim and the doors are cared with the Santa Fe's distinctive cross and circle logo of the 1920’s. The depot was closed in 1967 and left vacant before being placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The City of Claremont purchased it in 1989 and adapted it to serve as the Claremont Depot Transit Center opening in 1992. Metrolink arrived with the first stopping trains in the modern era (Amtrak’s Southwest Chief passed through the station from 1971 until 1994) as part of a one-stop extension from Pomona (the line only opened six weeks before) on December 7, 1992. The station was staffed by Foothill transit to sell tickets and passes and had a waiting room for passengers (No photos, because it was open on weekdays and the first and last Saturdays when I visited on a Sunday in 2014) until 2016.

The station was closed in 2016 and converted into a perminant home for the Claremont Museum of Art which opened in November 2016. The station is one of the few stops on the San Bernardino line located in a walkable area including in walking distance of the Claremont Colleges.

The conversion of the depot into a museum can be seen as the first phase of a major re-construction of the station, as two tracks for light rail are added to the Metrolink corridor, as part of the Gold Line Foothill Transit Phase 2B. Blue Line light rail trains (running all the way to Long Beach through the Downtown Connector project) are scheduled to arrive in 2026. In 2017 Metro proposed to close the Metrolink station and only provide Gold Line service (and slightly speed up Metrolink trains) but this was scrapped after major community opposition.

The current station has two side platforms for the two-track line that begin at College Avenue and run west. The south platform for Track 2 has a large empty space to the south of it from where extra tracks used to exists because the right of way here was once shared by both the Santa Fe Railroad and Pacific Electric “Red Cars" San Bernardino Line. This space and a realignment of the tracks is how the Gold Line will join Metrolink.

The depot is at the western end of the north, Track 1 platform and extends back through a greenspace before reaching 1st Street. Along 1st Street is a large shelter with a Spanish tile roof like the depot, this is where San Joaquin Amtrak thruway buses to Bakersfield (Amtrak code is CRE) stop and a number of Foothill Transit routes. The south Track 2 platform has just two entrances from a pedestrian grade-crossing (with bells and lights) from the depot and from College Avenue.

The Track 2 platform has a series of 7 canopy structures at regular intervals, these arched structures have decorative loops holding up a metal gabled roof. The north platform includes a single canopy structure with an an angled roof at a 90 degree angle between the depot and College Avenue. This structure is in front of a modern office built in 1981 (with underground parking) that doesn’t fit with the historic depot.

In front of the depot is just a drop-off loop and a few accessible parking spaces. The depots main parking lot has 396 spaces and is located across College Avenue from the station on the north side of the tracks parallel to 1st Street. Just off of 1st street, on the north side of the parking lot is the station's main off street bus area with 8 sawthooth bus bays all in a line stretching from just east of College Avenue to Columbia Avenue.

Artwork: Conductor's Pocket Watch, Loose Rivers, and Other Sculptures by Red Baer, 1994, comissioned by Metro, is a collection of figures on the platform cast in concrete these include a mallet, what looks like a railroad spike and other obojects that almost blend in within the enivornment
Photos 1-56 taken on January 19, 2014

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Last Updated: 26 April, 2020
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
All histrocial dates unless otherwise noted come from: Edward J. Simburg, Railroad-Freeway, Agoura, CA: Yerba Seca Publications, 1998
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