During the 64 years that the Great Northern Station stood at the foot of the Hennepin Avenue bridge, it was one of six passenger depots which once operated simultaneously in downtown Minneapolis, and at its peak, 125 trains used it each day.
Built in 1914 at a cost of two million dollars, it was approximately 300’ x 155’ and the concourse spanned 12 tracks below. It was demolished in 1978 and all passenger business was transferred to the Amtrak station in St. Paul, but during its many years of service, nearly 3 million passenger trains passed beneath its concourse.
The depot was reconstructed in miniature for the Twin City Model Railroad Museum by Bob Niederkorn in 1996, after years of meticulous model building.
Niederkorn’s masterpiece was built on a base of ¾” fir plywood, and nearly 1-1/2 sheets of ¼” luaun mahogany plywood were used for the walls and partitions. To simulate the 2’ x 4’ granite blocks from which the outside walls were constructed, over 5,000 individually cut pieces of 1/32” basswood were applied to the structure.
There are 221 window openings in the model, requiring over 556 pieces of framing. Nearly 100 feet of additional trim material was used on the surfaces of the station.