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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:09 am 
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Location: Hamilton, Illinois
The depot is beginning to be used for community events, which helps to draw attention to the restoration effort. On June 7, 2012, author Chuck Spinner of Jamestown, New York was featured in a book signing event for his new book about the 1946 wreck of two CB&Q passenger trains at Naperville, Illinois -- "The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing" (published by Author House).


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:18 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:19 pm
Posts: 47
Sir,

Thank you for the continued updates on this project. It is unfortunate that the depot was allowed to get into the condition that it was before being rescued by volunteers.

In earlier posts you discussed a combination baggage car that was in Keokuk. Do you know perchance the history of that car? From its construction and window patterns it bears resemblance to some parlor/baggage cars (often with other services such as libraries) that were used on limiteds built after WWI and the Great Depression.

Thanks,
Thomas Cornillie


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:08 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, Illinois
The combine is still sitting in the scrap yard in Hamilton, minus the trucks which were sold to an outfit in Colorado. I have no information about its history.

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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:54 pm 

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A good place to start researching the history of the car would be the Passenger Car List Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PassengerCarList/ .

I have always received good leads there from those who can recognize window patterns and other construction details. If the car was once used on a name train, it may be more desirable to a museum than a combination car with a cloudy history.

Thomas Cornillie


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:11 pm 
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On June 20 the Daily Gate City (local paper) carried an article updating progress on the Depot project, with a photo that I provided. It's online here: http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2012/06/20/news/dgc2741372.txt

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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:39 pm 
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Window repairs (painting, re-glazing. installing protective covers) are progressing at the Depot. In the photo taken Friday, July 27, 2012, volunteers are setting in one of the upper sections of the large Romanesque window that opens onto the platform from the waiting room.


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Last edited by rlsteam on Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:49 pm 
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After being gone for several decades, the Depot safe has been found in a nearby locality and was returned to the depot on August 4, 2012. It is lettered for the Railway Express Agency, which went out of business in 1975.


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:17 pm 
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DWELL, the architectural magazine that awarded a $10,000 grant to the Keokuk Union Depot in March, has now released the video they created when they visited Keokuk in May, called "Preserving the Keokuk Union Depot." It takes less than five minutes, including the commercial at the beginning. You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngcDUljzmfE.

(I'm the guy pounding platform bricks into the sand with a rubber mallet, and wearing the white Rand McNally "MileMaker" cap.)

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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:34 pm 
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The Daily Gate City for August 22 has an article about the Depot, including the tour of the Depot by attendees of the Iowa Downtown Summit. The writer included a photo of a tour group I am conducting through the building, http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2012/08/22/news/dgc3064594.txt. The article also mentions that the October issue of DWELL will carry an article about the Keokuk Depot project.

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 Post subject: Keokuk Union Depot Update 10-23-2012
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Resetting platform bricks between the building and the platform umbrella (train shed) support columns has how reached to within two doors of the downriver side of the depot. Weather permitting, the current phase of the project will be completed before winter. Next year we expect to begin the outer portion, between the support columns and the track.

Application to place the Depot on the National Register of Historic Places has been submitted, thanks to the work of an intern from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. An architectural study of the Depot has also been completed, which will provide a basis for planning future restoration work such as the rebuilding of the peaked central tower (which was leveled off during World War II after being damaged by fire caused by lightning in 1937).

A successful brunch on Sunday, October 21 brought in $2000 toward the cause of rehabilitation. For more details, read the article in the Keokuk Daily Gate City, http://www.dailygate.com/news/article_a483ddae-77bc-55b9-bc28-059b2f2fa535.html.


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Last edited by rlsteam on Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:39 pm 

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Richard -

Glad to hear that there are at least thoughts being given to restoration of the peaked central tower of the station.

The new brickwork on the depot platform looks great!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:04 pm 
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On Tuesday, December 4, re-setting of the platform bricks was completed to the downriver end of the building. We started this project in May at the upriver end. The project this year included only the portion between the building and the base of the platform umbrella support posts. (Hopefully we will continue next year with the portion from there out toward the tracks.) Below is a photo of the volunteers when we finished the project: left to right -- Richard Leonard, Leon Erlandsen, Dennis Otte, and Dennis See.

In other news, the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation has been organized as an Iowa not-for-profit corporation, and application for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS is in process. The Foundation will be involved in fundraising for the rehabilitation project, supplementing the work of the Union Depot Commission (an agency of the City of Keokuk government) which has oversight of the Depot. Formation of the Foundation allows non-residents of Keokuk, Iowa to also have an official role. (As an Illinois resident, I have been elected Vice-President of the Foundation.)


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Last edited by rlsteam on Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: More Local Publicity for Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:02 pm 
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This photo appeared in the Daily Gate City (local paper) on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. "The Polar Express" was presented to more than 300 school children from different local schools at the Depot on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On the first two days the mayor of Keokuk read the story; on Wednesday it was acted out for elementary students by a group from the high school. Naturally, many parents and teachers were there as well. The community is becoming more aware daily of the Depot as a community asset worthy of support in the effort to rehabilitate and preserve it.


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:05 pm 

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Richard -

Interesting concept for a "rail organization" that is not able to furnish an actual Polar Express train experience. Did the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation charge for the visit, or was it free to the students/teachers?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:41 am 
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Location: Hamilton, Illinois
No charge was made. The Depot is owned by the city and the mayor read the story the first two days and high school students acted it out (to recorded script) on the third day. Two of the depot volunteers dressed up as a conductor and engineer but we were not part of the story -- we just punched "tickets" from the kids as they came in (conductor), and operated a G-gauge model train (engineer).

We are just trying to heighten community awareness of the rehab project. We have hosted other activities for which no specific charge was made -- a book signing and a class reunion, for example, though the class made a donation. We have also had fund-raising activities such as a brunch, and there is an upcoming concert by a blues singer. A lot of work still needs to be done on the building, but the waiting room can be used for community activities. (Some possibilities are wedding receptions or flea markets.) Some boarded-up windows in the waiting room still need to be repaired and reglazed, but there is heat and the rest rooms are operative.

The rehab is a gradual process done largely by volunteers thus far -- the big project for the future is repair of the roof and re-roofing with tile (real or simulated) to replicate the 1891 appearance. For that we need to raise between $750,000 and $950,000 depending on options selected. That is why we have just established the non-profit Keokuk Union Depot Foundation, to receive funds needed for major work. (The City has no money to put into it because it is strapped with an EPA-mandated sewer separation project and is borrowed to the max.)

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