Barstow Harvey House, Barstow

#6 of 11 in Things to do in Barstow
Barstow Harvey House, also known as Harvey House Railroad Depot and Barstow station, is a historic building in Barstow, California. Originally built in 1911 as Casa del Desierto, a Harvey House hotel and Santa Fe Railroad depot, it currently serves as an Amtrak station and government building housing city offices, the Barstow Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, and two museums.
The Casa del Desierto station and hotel was built in 1911 by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to replace an earlier one built in 1885 that burned in 1908. The Santa Fe closed the station in 1973. It became derelict until bought by the City of Barstow, and rebuilt following heavy damage in a 1992 earthquake.
The building is a synthesis of Spanish Renaissance and Classical Revival architecture styles, with a Moorish feeling as well. The concrete frame is faced with red tapestry brick and beige artificial stone. Majestic arcades and colonnades line the facade, providing shade from the desert sun. Red clay barrel tiles are used to cover the roof. Towers at the building's corners, and those of the central projecting bay facing the tracks, are capped with pointed roofs or painted domes.
Francis W. Wilson is the architect credited by the Historic American Buildings Survey of the National Park Service. Amtrak's Great American Stations site says that "according to contemporary accounts, the Casa del Desierto... was designed by Francis W. Wilson of Santa Barbara, Calif." Earlier Wilson had designed the Fray Marcos hotel in Williams, Arizona, and El Garces in Needles, California for the Santa Fe and Fred Harvey.
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Barstow Harvey House Reviews
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  • I recently had the opportunity to visit a few California Rt.66 sites that I had not visited on a prior trip. I stopped at the Barstow Harvey House, or the Casa Del Desierto, Barstow Train Station...  more »
  • It is wonderful that the Barstow Harvey House is still active and still open to the public. This HH is home to the Route 66 Museum and the Railroad Museum as well as the NASA Goldstone Visitor...  more »
  • The Harvey House is a beautiful museum. It was fun to see a piece of history that is so well kept.
  • So far we (Glen Clark from "Stories of the Dark" podcast) got to walk around the museums, and around the outside. We still need to go during the week to see inside. We love checking out old possibly haunted places.

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