The Journal of San Diego History
Spring 1988, Volume 34, Number 2
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

by James N. Price

Santa Fe Stations


History: This wooden frame California Southern (Santa Fe) station was built in 1881, making it the oldest railroad building in San Diego County. The area around the station was the site of original California Southern yard and Santa Fe’s West Coast headquarters. The National City & Otay (NC&O) facility sat only a block away. This Santa Fe station served as a passenger terminal until 1930 and as a center for freight operations until the 1960s. Later the building greeted hungry guests as a restaurant called, appropriately enough, The Depot.

Present Use: The building is owned by an industrial company which plans to use it for offices for the foreseeable future.

Location. The National City station sits trackside on Harbison Ave. just north of 24th Street, west of Interstate 5.

National City station  
The National City station in 1887. The International Hotel is shown in the distance. Notice the lack of other buildings! (San Diego History Center – Ticor Collection).

National City station  
National City’s station today houses the offices of an industrial company following the demise of a restaurant called “The Depot”.