Joplin, MO

The renovation of an old 1913 train station into the Frisco Station Lofts saved another historic building

CJ Coombs
St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Building nka Frisco Apartments.AbeEzekowitz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1913, a nine-story train station and office building was constructed for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad at 605 Main Street in Joplin, Missouri. Historically known as the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Building, it was also called the Frisco Building.

The Frisco Building is located in the Joplin Downtown Historic District. It was a train depot and office building. In 2002, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The building was designed by the then well-known St. Louis architectural firm of Mauran, Russell, and Crowell. It was constructed by Isaac T. Cook Construction Company, also from St. Louis. It has a concrete foundation and walls made of brick and stone. 

The exterior of the building was in good shape and an element that helped to save the building. The architectural design is Chicago Style.

It played an important role in the development of commercial transportation in Joplin. (Source.)

The first two floors used to be the station for servicing passengers. In 1955, the train depo service ended. 

The lower level housed the ticket office, a telegraphy office, and a waiting rom. On the second level was the dispatcher’s office and a cafe. — these were on street level. Other floors contained offices for attorneys, barbers, dentists, and medical professionals.

At the peak of train travel in Joplin, there were up to 52 trains going in and out of the depot. During the year the train operations ended, the construction of a medical building closer to the hospital took some of the medical office tenants from the Frisco building.

The remaining tenant left in 1987. The building was purchased by the Financial Reserve Life Insurance Co. and later by a jewelry store owner. Due to its vacancy since 1988, the building was beginning to deteriorate internally.

But it was eventually saved.

The railroad

Some of the railroads that served Joplin included the Missouri-KansasTexas Railroad, the Missouri Pacific, the Missouri & North Arkansas Railway, and the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (Frisco).
Frisco Locomotive Number 1621 on display at the Museum of Transportation outside St. Louis.RFM57, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
The St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (affectionately known as the “Frisco”) was a St. Louis-based railroad that operated in nine Midwest and southern states from 1876 to 1980. (Source.)

The railroad didn't just transport passengers. The railroad also hauled lead and zinc ores out of Joplin to other areas in the country. The St. Louis and San Francisco Railway became a regional rail line after it was reorganized in 1916.

In November 1980, it merged with and assimilated into Burlington Northern due to financial problems. Despite its name, it never traveled west of Texas, so it didn't reach San Francisco.


Starting in 2018, Joplin physician, Michael Joseph, purchased the building "in phases." The building was renovated into 57 apartment units including different floor plans.

The old train station building has been saved. Today, it's called the Frisco Station Lofts. Click here to see the newly renovated space. The high-end rooms appear to be very spacious and the upper floors promise to have great views.

Thanks for reading! Another historic building was saved.

Comments / 4

Published by

Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

More from CJ Coombs

Comments / 0