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Wisconsin train station becomes The Harvey House restaurant


Brooklyn-based Home Studios has turned a former rail baggage handlers’ building in Madison into dining spaces that evoke “the golden age of train travel”.

Hidden behind an old train depot in the Wisconsin capital, The Harvey House is a 5,000-square-foot restaurant that nods to the Midwestern state’s supper club culture of the 1930s and 40s.

Ground floor of The Harvey House restaurant
The Harvey House occupies a two-storey baggage claim building at the old Madison train station

American cuisine is served over two levels of the old baggage claim house, each with its own bar, which Home Studios renovated with the building’s history in mind.

Additional dining spaces are located in a glass-enclosed area on one of the shuttered station’s platforms, and in a 1960s train car that sits on the tracks.

View into the open kitchen
Home Studio retained many of the original features

Many of the building’s original features were retained, including ceiling beams, windows, and the station’s sliding wood doors.

The brickwork and dark green window trims guided the colour and material palette for the project, which includes dark woods and tactile upholstery, as well as custom millwork and commissioned artworks.

“Home Studios’ primary design goal for The Harvey House was to create a warm and inviting restaurant that marries the familiar comfort of a Wisconsin supper club with a uniquely transportive experience evocative of the golden age of train travel,” said the studio.

Dining area on the station platform at The Harvey House restaurant
The restaurant includes a dining area on the former station platform

In the downstairs dining room, patrons can watch the chefs at work through a large opening to the kitchen. Wooden banquettes are cushioned with upholstered backs and seats in various tones of green.

Custom light fixtures reference those found in Paris metro stations, giving off a soft glow that adds to the moody ambience.

An open doorway leads through to the platform patio area, where black benches and rattan chairs accompany marble-topped tables.

Planting, string lights and vintage rugs give this space a more casual feel.

The decommissioned train carriage can be seen through the glass wall that runs parallel to the tracks.

Upstairs bar with custom artworks
Works by a local artist decorate panels behind the upstairs bar and its equivalent on the floor below

Upstairs, light-brown leather seating and teal bar stools continue the colour palette found below.

The almost symmetrical layout includes wood and glass partitions that delineate different dining areas.

Dining area separated by wood and glass partitions
Wood and glass partitions divide the upstairs dining areas

Behind both of the restaurant’s bars are works by local artist Jessica Niello-White, created specifically for The Harvey House.

Placed above the liquor selves and in the flanking arches, her images are based on scenes of the Wisconsin countryside as they might be seen from a train window.

Host station at the restaurant entrance
The converted train car can also be seen behind the host stand at the entrance

Home Studios was founded by former book editor Oliver Haslegrave in 2009, with a focus on residential and hospitality interiors.

Previously completed projects include a cocktail bar in West Hollywood and an apartment in Manhattan, while the studio’s range of collectible furniture and lighting debuted at Sight Unseen Offsite in 2017.

Photography is by Nicole Franzen.


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