Ottawa Station.


Rock Island Line.


May 2015

The Story.


The Ottawa Station was a train depot originally built for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, but eventually moved to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. It has been falling into disrepair since at least the 1970's but still stands as a monument to early 20th century railway architecture. The Council Bluffs, IA and Iowa City, IA depots were designed in a similar style.


Samantha Brown, the owner of FRR, has lived near Ottawa for most of her life. "Ottawa was usually the place we went for everything: getting groceries, going out to eat, meeting friends, or just hanging out." The town has developed around the depot and it now stands off of the main road, only noticed by those who live on the nearby residential streets, or patrons of the Wendy's across the tracks.


That was how Samantha noticed the structure. "I'm sure I'd looked at it as a kid, but not since I'd been a part of 3D visualization. It's architecture immediately stood out to me. As I began to research it, I found pictures of it's beautiful textures that had since been boarded up or painted over." We returned the structure to its former glory, but chose to keep one side effect of time. The ivy growing up the building's Northwest corner took nothing away from the building's beauty, but added even more depth to its texture and color.

The Process.

Using aerial photos, our own reference photos, and intensive research on railroad architecture, we began putting the pieces together. Using Autodesk Maya, we modeled the building, the early 20th century brickwork around it, and a stretch of the tracks in front. We used the renders to create a composite in Photoshop, adding real life details to the  background to anchor it into a real-life setting. The render on the left was intended to visualize the building as it would look, refurbished, in its current setting. The render below is more of a "glory shot," omitting the power lines and other less-aesthetic elements in the background.

© 2018 by Fox River Rendering                                             •   815-496-0090

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