Ferg's Shipping Container Location 3

The owner of Ferg’s Depot in the Old Orlando Railroad Depot is requesting approval to add a free-standing kitchen, restroom and storage additions using storage containers that will be painted to look like train cars. The storage containers would be added to the east side of the property located at 78 W Church St [GMap].

We told you back in August that Mark Ferguson the owner of Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill in St. Pete is planning to open Ferg’s Depot a restaurant and bar inside of the 1889 train station.

To do so he’ll need to add a kitchen and additional restrooms. According to a City of Orlando Historic Planning Board staff report his plan is to do so using shipping containers. Additionally, he is requesting to add new railings and a plaza area for seating.

The shipping containers would be placed three feet away from the east side of the building. If you are facing the train depot it would be just to the left of the building in-between the station and 54 W building.

That area is currently unused and contains the remnants of a rail spur.

According to the report, “the gap between the existing platform and the proposed containers is critical to maintain the feeling that the construction is reminiscent of rail cars. The gap also helps maintain the integrity of the station by maintaining separation of the old and new.”

The containers themselves would end up being 13.5 feet high when a parapet is built on top. They will be placed side by side and connected making them 17 feet wide.

“The intent of the containers is that they appear as rail cars adjacent to the train depot in an area that was once a rail siding. The connection to the containers will be at the platform level and only in areas needing access. The proposed containers base floor height is shown to be level with the existing station platform,” the staff report notes.

The aluminum containers would be painted to look like train cars.

It was noted in the report, “while the themed containers are somewhat contrived, they do represent a railroad theme that is appropriate to the history and use of the building.”

While the report includes some photos of what that might look like the photos are clearly computer generated.

Because of this the City wants to get a clearer indication of how the paintings on the containers would look. “The proposed graphics depicting train cars and engine shall have a photo realistic appearance and be present on all sides of the proposed containers and shall require additional review and approval,” City staff wrote in the report.

The staff recommendation also requested that the owner provide more details on the canvas awning canopies to connect the existing platform to the shipping containers.

While the staff report does recommend approval, the Historic Preservation Board will meet on October 2nd to vote on the owners request. All Historic Preservation Board recommendations are subject to final action by City Council.

The Old Orlando Railroad Depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, designated an Orlando Landmark in 1978, and is a contributing structure in the Downtown Historic District created in 1980.

Here are the proposed paintings included in the report:

Ferg's Shipping Containers West View

Ferg's Shipping Containers North View  Ferg's Shipping Containers East View

And the layout which includes the floor plan for the restaurant and bar areas:

Ferg's Site Plan

And the elevation view looking at the building from Church Street:

Ferg's North Elevation


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  1. Shipping containers blocking the east part of the station from downtown Orlando. Sorry, that’s not trendy, that’s tacky and unfortunate to obscure one half of such a historically important building for another bar.

  2. Why not have the containers clad with the sides of actual rail cars like the old “The Station” nightclub that used to be in Casselberry? That was very authentic looking on the outside and great use of space on the inside!

  3. Why do we continue to allow things that invite ridicule and make Orlando look as though we are 2nd rate? This should not be acceptable.

  4. This kind of shipping container “architecture” is super trendy in a lot of major cities right now. I guess Orlando is catching up!

    Although in most of those cities the containers aren’t dressed up to look like something else. Not sure about that part.

  5. I don’t see how this could possibly look good. I was really excited about Fergs, but the city has to say no to this. The renderings look horrible which is a huge red flag, and it will look beyond tacky in real life.

  6. So they are planning on desecrating a landmark with shipping containers? The city spent millions on the disco fountain, couldn’t they kick in a $100,000 for a prop locomotive?

  7. The city should have kept the REAL train that was parked there for years – it would have made an excellent adjunct to the depot itself. But alas, nobody asked me. 😉