Grants Awarded

Denver & Rio Grande Antonito Depot

Conejos County

Antonito owes its existence to the expansion of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. In 1879, the company began extending the track south and purchased the land that would become the San Antonio Junction—and Antonito was the community that built up around it. The Denver & Rio Grande Antonito Depot serviced freight and passengers alike headed to Santa Fe, Durango, Silverton, and New Mexico.

Built in 1880, the depot served for over sixty years as the junction point for the branch line to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the San Juan Extension from Alamosa to Durango and Silverton. It provided passenger and express package services and housed the local office of the Western Union telegraph, and was also the office for railroad freight operations originating or terminating in the Antonito area. The Town of Antonito purchased the depot from Union Pacific in 2006, and has taken steps to preserve the building ever since. The depot was placed on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places list in 2007.

The Denver & Rio Grande Antonito Depot is listed in both the State and National Registers for being a contributing building in the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad San Juan Extension Historic District. It is historically significant for both its architectural style and elements and in the area of transportation for the important role it played in the operations of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in the San Luis Valley.

Historic photograph of the Denver & Rio Grande Antonito Depot with railroad tracks in the foreground.

Historic photograph of the Denver & Rio Grande Antonito Depot.

History Colorado.

The 2016 SHF grant will enable the Town to restore and rehabilitate several of the depot’s character-defining features, including the windows, doors, chimney, roof, and other elements in need of care.

The 2017 grant funded the exterior rehabilitation, which included the stucco restoration, stone repointing, installation of exterior storm windows, and restoration of the exterior lighting to help light the building at night and to deter vandalism.