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Santa Fe Depot from “The Trouble with Angels”

Oct 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Movie Locations

Monrovia Train Station (4 of 16)

It is no secret that I love abandoned places, especially during this time of year.  (What I wouldn’t give to be able to see this in person!)  Recently I stalked Monrovia’s former Santa Fe Railroad Depot and it had my heart going pitter-patter.  The now defunct train station is also a filming location and, while it appeared in a comedy and not a horror movie, due to its current dilapidated state I figured it would fit in perfectly with my Haunted Hollywood postings.

The Santa Fe Railroad Depot was originally constructed in 1925 for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Monrovia Train Station (5 of 16)

Monrovia Train Station (8 of 16)

The Spanish colonial revival-style structure replaced a wooden station constructed on the site in 1886 that serviced the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Railroad.  Fun fact – the initial depot also serviced a mule-drawn railway car that shuttled passengers to and from Monrovia’s business district.

Monrovia Train Station (9 of 16)

Monrovia Train Station (14 of 16)

Santa Fe Depot fell victim to the decline of railway use in the second half of the 20th century and wound up being shuttered in 1972.  The property was left vacant and allowed to dilapidate over the four decades that followed.

Monrovia Train Station (12 of 16)

In coordination with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Gold Line Foothill Extension, there are plans currently in the works to turn the depot and the land surrounding it into the Monrovia Station Square Transit Village – a 25-acre mixed-use center that would feature retail stores, restaurants, offices and housing.  The project is set to be completed by the end of 2015, although I am not sure how feasible that date is considering the current state of the property.

Monrovia Train Station (1 of 16)

Monrovia Train Station (2 of 16)

The Santa Fe Railroad Depot was featured twice as the St. Francisville Train Station in the 1966 comedy The Trouble with Angels.  While a portion of the movie was shot on location in Pennsylvania (the stunningly gorgeous St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families in Ambler masked as St. Francis Academy), the vast majority of the flick was lensed in L.A.  Interestingly, two different locales were used as the St. Francisville Station.  As the St. Francis school bus arrives at the depot to pick up Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) and the girls in the film’s opening scene, a shot of the Merion, Pennsylvania depot was shown.  A matching Google Street View image of that spot is pictured below.

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Screen Shot 10-16-14 at 02.15 PM

When the girls are actually shown getting off the train, though, the location switches to the Santa Fe Depot in Monrovia.

Screen Shot 10-16-14 at 10.42 AM

Screen Shot 10-16-14 at 11.26 AM

Santa Fe Depot was also used in The Trouble with Angel’s ending sequence in which the girls leave St. Francis Academy.  You can see a great shot of the side of the station that appeared in The Trouble with Angels here and you can read a fascinating blog post about the making of the movie here.

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Screen Shot 10-16-14 at 11.22 AM

For more stalking fun, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Los Angeles magazine online.

Monrovia Train Station (13 of 16)

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: Santa Fe Depot, from The Trouble with Angels, is located at 101 West Duarte Road in Monrovia.

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4 comments

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  1. Richard Y says:

    I think I MAY have found it. (key word – MAY) History Channel’s ‘Cities Of The Underworld’, episode ‘Land Of Manson’. It is set to re-air Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2300hrs (although not sure which time zone referring to)
    Within this episode about Manson and his followers, the synopsis says in part, “But Manson and his followers weren’t the only things lurking beneath the streets of LA. We’ll take you beneath the most congested streets in America, into the tunnels where corrupt cops ran the city in secret and the largest subway system in the world lies in waste.

  2. Richard Y says:

    There was a program (on the History channel – or Travel channel) called Mysteries of the Underground or similar (sorry can’t remember) but they toured the LA Subway starting at the Subway Terminal Building (now Metro 417). Fascinating to see the abandoned subway line and where some of the Exits went to in LA.


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