"...a handsome building...in the French Renaissance style."
The Wilmington Morning News of June 8, 1888, reported that the proposed new B & O passenger station, had been designed by Frank Furness of Furness, Evans and Company in Philadelphia. In addition to office space on the second floor, the facility would include; a baggage room, a ticket office; a women's waiting room and a men's waiting room, each with a fireplace and ornamental chimneys; and a porch 60 feet long and 10 feet deep. The exterior of the first story was to be red brick and black mortar and the roof and second story were to be slate of a dark cool color. The building would be lighted with gas and heated with steam. The cost for the proposed structure was projected at $10,000.
This cyanotype photo, dating from about 1891, shows the track-side elevation of the completed station. Note the warehouses and industrial shops nearby, and, in the background, the shop's rigging on the river and billboard with three theatrical posters.
In the early days, the B&O station was the elegant passenger facility seen above. In an effort to compete with the PW&B (Pennsylvania Railroad), the B&O began to offer through-passenger service to Philadelphia and New york. It was then that a second passenger station was built along the new track alignment to the west in the area now known as Trolley Square. Once the new station opened, this original facility focused on local passenger and freight services. During most of the 20th century this building served as the B&O's main freight depot.