History

at Sunset Station

Rich in History

The Southern Pacific Depot  at Paul Square was one of the main stopping points along the famous Sunset Limited Route to California. This beloved landmark, which was once the hub of transportation, was originally constructed with the sum of $115,000. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and  is remembered as “the building of 1000 lights” because of the many electric lights installed during its construction.
The same lights that gave Sunset Station it's "building of 1,000 lights" nickname contributed to a 1907 electrical fire that destroyed the roof and severely damaged the southwest corner of the building, which was repaired in the following year. The Depot, since then, has been carefully restored to its original splendor including the re-creation of the 16-foot-diameter rose window that fills the north end of the building.

Restoration of the Sunset Station is a continual project as well as the revitalization of the  Historic St. Paul Square District, which was once the hub for the incoming and outgoing military personnel during World War II.

Today, Sunset Station is still the anchor in the heart of the St. Paul Square District. With its close proximity to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Alamodome, this premiere entertainment venue offers event planners a unique canvas with unlimited options to create memorable experiences for their guests. The latest additions to the historic district are the University of Houston's Conrad Hilton College School of Hospitality, Smoke - The Restaurant, and Tony G's Soul Food. Visitors are encouraged to culminate their visit to St. Paul Square with a self-guided walking tour of the unique variety of noteworthy buildings.

SUNSET STATION TIMELINE OF EVENTS

February 26, 1907

Fire consumed the roof of the station, collapsing to the floor. Seven months later the station was reopened.

February 16, 1930

Former President Calvin Coolidge stopped at the Southern Pacific Depot for 20 minutes. On the train, he discussed the Mt. Rushmore monument with sculptor Gutzon Borglum.

April 22, 1940

King Antonio XXII leads the Fiesta Parade on East Commerce.

November 1, 1950

John Wayne arrives in San Antonio at the Southern Pacific Depot for the premiere of Rio Grande, along with actress Maureen O’Hara and director John Ford.

April 29, 1928

A team of eight Tarahumara Indians from Mexico passed through the station in 1928 on their way to the University of Texas Spring track meet. They went on to compete with 900 others from the United States and Mexico.

April 7, 1939

John Hermann “Dizzy” Dean comes to San Antonio to lead his Chicago Cubs against the St. Louis Browns in two exhibition baseball games.

July 4, 1942

99 Marine volunteers flash the victory sign before boarding a train to San Diego.