Historic Venice Train Depot

By | September 4, 2013

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Venice Train DepotOver the summer, I had the opportunity with visiting guests to share a bit of Venice’s history at the Historic Venice Train Depot which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We opted to take the hour or so tour with a trained volunteer docent and was given a fascinating account of Venice history and the significance of the train depot from beginning to present. Be prepared though, there’s no train to view but only a caboose.

The depot’s original architechure embodies the Mediterranean Rivival styled for the city of Venice. In 1927, it was said to be the finest station on the Seaboard Air Line Railway. Interestingly enough, it was the last structure to be built in Venice before the bottom fell out of the Florida real estate boom in 1928. Years later, it served as the entry point for several entities that influenced the town’s growth and development. In 1932, the Kentucky Military Institute Cadets would arrive by train to their winter headquarters on the Island of Venice from January to April. From 1942-1945, The Depot and Railroad was used as the prime entry point for people and material during the war and lastly, the train was used to transport circus act performers and animals of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to its winter headquarters in Venice.

Following its close in 1975, it fell into a period of decline until it was beautifully restored in 2002-2003 with renovation costs at $2.3 million compared to its original Depot cost of $47,500 in 1927. Tour times vary during the year. It has become an asset to Venice now with the ability to be able to rent  the facilities for different  types of venues.

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