Designed by the well-known Chicago-based architectural firm of Holabird and Root for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q), the station was built in 1944 after a fire burned down the previous structure in January 1943. The depot exemplifies the streamlined mid-century modern aesthetic that came into vogue in the 1930s. The two-story station, constructed of reinforced concrete, is faced in buff-colored Wisconsin Lannon fieldstone laid in a random ashlar pattern. Areas for train and bus passengers were located on the lower level while the upper story contained offices for the general superintendent, freight agent, division engineer and telephone and telegraph operators. There was also space for trainmen to sleep and relax between shifts.
The two-story waiting room features walls clad in a buff Montana travertine; durable terrazzo floors; and black marble accents and trim. On one wall of the waiting room, the CB&Q inscribed many of the major achievements that it had accomplished in its namesake city, such as the testing of inventor George Westinghouse’s air brakes in 1887.