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Depot History

Motorless Motion Bicycles is located in the beautiful, historical train depot in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.

 

By the 20th century, Madison was in need of a larger train depot to accommodate growing passenger train activity. A sight was chosen (where Motorless Motion Bicycles is currently located) across the street from the old depot at 1853 West Washington Ave. Chicago-based architectural firm Frost and Grainger took on the project, with the famous Charles Sumner Frost as the head architect.

 

Frost's neo-classical brick design was erected in 1903 with a main depot and luggage building. Over the years, a number of carriers served the area including Chicago, Milwaukee, and the St. Paul railway lines. Significant improvements to the facility came in 1929 when the original wood floors were replaced with the terrazzo flooring (material consisting of marble or granite set in concrete and polished) that can still be found at our shop today.

 

 

 

The train depot was closed to rail service entirely by the 1960’s as passenger rail use declined. During much of the 1970’s and into the 1990’s, the building was used as a restaurant by several different establishments. On May 9th, 1985 the train depot building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and by 1989, was listed on the Wisconsin State Register (Reference #85000990).

The building was once again lightly remodeled during the first part the twenty first to accommodate a new bike shop.


 

When the depot was purchased in 2013 to become home to MoMo Bicycles, the building underwent major restoration to preserve its character and transform it into the classic bike shop it is today.