Wisconsin Rail Station becomes Harvey House Restaurant

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


Hidden behind an old train station in the Wisconsin capital, Harvey House is a 5,000-square-foot restaurant that points to the culinary evening culture of the Midwestern state of the 1930s and 1940s.

Harvey House occupies a two-story baggage claim building at Madison’s old train station

American cuisine is served on two levels of the old luggage storage room, each with its own bar Home Studios renovated keeping in mind the history of the building.

Additional dining areas are housed in closed glass on one of the closed station platforms and in a 1960s wagon sitting on the tracks.

View of the open kitchen
Home Studio has retained many of its original features

Many of the building’s original features have been retained, including the ceiling beams, windows, and sliding wooden doors of the station.

Brick and dark green window decorations led to a range of colors and materials for the project, which includes dark wood and tactile upholstery, as well as custom millwork and commissioned artwork.

“The primary goal of Home Studios design for Harvey House was to create a warm and attractive restaurant that will marry the famous comfort of a Wisconsin dinner club with a unique transportation experience evoking the golden age of train travel,” the studio said.

Dining room on the station platform at The Harvey House Restaurant
The restaurant includes a dining area on the station’s former platform

In the dining room on the ground floor, patrons can watch the chefs work through the large opening in the kitchen. The wooden banquets are lined with upholstered backs and seats in various shades of green.

Custom lighting fixtures refer to those found in Parisian metro stations, giving off a mild glow that enhances the whimsical ambience.

An open door leads to a terrace on the platform, where black rattan benches and chairs follow the marble-covered tables.

Planting, wire lights and antique rugs give this space a more casual feel.

The broken wagon can be seen through a glass wall that runs parallel to the rails.

Upstairs bar with custom artwork
The works of a local artist decorate the panels behind the bar and its equivalent on the floor below

Upstairs, light brown leather upholstery and teal bar stools continue the color palette below.

The almost symmetrical layout includes wooden and glass partitions outlining different dining rooms.

Dining room separated by wooden and glass partitions
Wooden and glass partitions divide the dining rooms upstairs

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

Set above the alcoholic beverages themselves and in the side arches, her paintings are based on scenes from the village of Wisconsin that can be seen from the train window.

Host station at the entrance to the restaurant
The redesigned wagon can also be seen behind the host stand at the entrance

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

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

The photo is from Nicole Franzen.

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