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Depot History

We are lucky that our bike shop is located in an incredible and beautiful historical train depot. Here is a brief history of the depot.   

History of Historic Train Depot 

By the beginning of the twentieth century passenger train travel had grown to the point where Madison needed a new larger Depot to handle the volume of travelers. A sight was chosen just across the street from the old 1853 Depot on West Washington Ave. The Chicago based architectural firm of Frost and Grainger was selected, with Charles Sumner Frost himself as the head architect. Frost’s neo-classical brick design was erected in 1903 and had both the main depot building as well as the luggage building right next to it. Over the years a number of carriers served the area, including Chicago, Milwaukee, and the St. Paul railway lines. The first significant improvement to the facility came in 1929 when the original wood floors were replaced with the terrazzo that remains to this day.



By the 1960’s, passenger rail use had declined to such a level that the depot was closed to rail service entirely. During much of the 1970’s through the 80’s and into the 1990’s, the building was used as a restaurant by several different establishments. On May 9th, 1985 the depot building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. January 1st,1989 brought a listing on the Wisconsin State Register (Reference #85000990). The first part the the twenty first century saw the building lightly remodeled once again to accommodate a bike shop.



A change of ownership in 2013 brought much needed improvement and restoration to the grand old building in preparation for use as Motorless Motion Bicycles. We at Motorless Motion Bicycles feel proud to be part of the history of  Madison’s historic train depot. Stop in and enjoy the view!