River Station (formerly Rock Island RR Depot) - Peoria, IL
Posted by: NorStar
N 40° 41.298 W 089° 35.397
16T E 281147 N 4507382
Quick Description: The River Station, now Tilley's Restaurant, was one of the railroad stations in Peoria, and was the last to have passenger service to Chicago.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 9/26/2008 10:41:00 AM
Waymark Code: WM4T2M
The River Station, formerly known as the Rock Island Depot, is a simply adorned brick building with an overhead shelter that sits in the revitalized 'Riverfront' section of Peoria, Illinois. Though no longer a railroad station, railroad tracks still are visible, and, to my understanding, still active. Currently, the building is Tilley's Restaurant.
According to a historical web site, the station was built in 1891, and a freight depot was added to it in 1899. At one time, Peoria was the fourth largest regional hub in the United States, with 15 railroads serving the city.
The Rock Island Railroad ran the train, the Peoria Rocket, from Chicago to Peoria for 42 years, until 1978, when the last train left the station. The station was then given over to the city. Over the years, it was used as a training center, then as a dining place (changing owners several times).
Recently, new owners have taken over the location and are in the process of opening 'Tilley's'. Their activities were temporarily halted after the Illinois River nearby overflowed its banks and surrounded the building. It is a jewel along the city's Riverfront Park, which includes other establishments, a park, and a base for riverboat cruises. The link below is the web site for the Riverfront area, which includes Tilley's in the station:
The station is listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
As the pictures submitted show, they had to sandbag the building and staff people spent the night in the building to monitor possible problems. This gives an ironic twist to the station name, as well as to Water Street, which is runs parallel to the tracks.