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Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height
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Author:  rlsteam [ Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

On August 31 the reconstructed apex of the Depot's central tower, leveled off around 1950, was lifted to its place adding some 26 feet to the height of the building and restoring the contour of Depot as built in 1891 to a design of John Wellborn Root, of Burnham & Root. After the addition of copper finials and construction of dormers on the front and rear of the tower, the roof will be tiled to emulate the original design. That project should be completed this fall. (Replacing the tile roof on the two ends of the building is scheduled for 2017.)

Among those filming the lifting of the apex was Neal Vogel, principal of Restoric LLC, the Chicago firm planning and managing the $1M roof restoration project. He is visible as the center man in the Keokuk Fire Department bucket on the opposite side of the building. Construction of the apex was by The Meyer Guild of Chicago, subcontracted from Restoric LLC. Restoration of the apex was made possible by a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs through its Historical Resource Development Program (HRDP).

Richard C. Leonard, Ph.D.
Vice-President, Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

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Author:  rlsteam [ Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Here's a video of the event from the Keokuk DAILY GATE CITY:
http://www.dailygate.com/multimedia/video_555ca8fc-7096-11e6-b361-43f25821025c.html

Author:  ebtrr [ Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Congratulations on the milestone. That peak really makes the building.

I find it curious they chose to prefabricate the peak and lift it onto the building rather than constructing it on the building.

Author:  rlsteam [ Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Not so curious. The pitch of the roof of the central tower is steep, and it was safer and more convenient to construct the apex on the ground and lift it with a crane. When the depot was built in 1891 such cranes weren't available, liability issues weren't what they are today, etc. so the apex was constructed in place.

The services of the crane were donated by a local firm, McDowell Crane & Rigging, and credited toward the goal of $667,000 to match the Jeffris Family Foundation grant of $333,000. The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation has met the matching goal for the roof restoration a year ahead of schedule. Additional funds must now be raised to handle some deterioration issues that have surfaced during the work that has been done thus far.

Author:  rlsteam [ Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Dormers have been constructed on the track side and bluff side of the Depot, according to the original configuration of 1891. They were intended to house clocks, though no clock was ever installed. The next step is tiling of the roof of the entire central tower and installation of the copper finials on the apex and corner turrets.

Attachments:
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depot_dormer_9-3-16.jpg [ 142.2 KiB | Viewed 2043 times ]

Author:  PMC [ Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

rlsteam wrote:
Dormers have been constructed on the track side and bluff side of the Depot, according to the original configuration of 1891. They were intended to house clocks, though no clock was ever installed.


Clocks would look neat in the dormers, and would be consistent with the original design (though I am sure would cost many multiples of windows).

Author:  rlsteam [ Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Because we are following Secretary of the Interior guidelines for restoration of the building exterior, we have not considered installing new clocks because they were not original fixtures. Moreover, a clock on the track side could not be seen except from the Mississippi or the waterfront area; the public may not access the trackage in front of the Depot because that is the property of Pioneer Railcorp (four tracks usually filled with tank cars from the Roquette America plant) or the BNSF Burlington-St. Louis "K Line." And because of the train shed (platform umbrella) you can't even really see the front of the tower from the station platform. As to the bluff side, currently trees in a park block the view of the tower except from one relatively narrow angle. So at this stage clocks would serve no useful purpose.

Author:  rlsteam [ Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Here's another video someone took of the hoisting of the apex on August 31.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/100689331/Apex%20lifting%20video%20%232.mp4

Author:  Les Beckman [ Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

rlsteam wrote:
Because we are following Secretary of the Interior guidelines for restoration of the building exterior, we have not considered installing new clocks because they were not original fixtures.


Richard -

Not installing clocks makes sense to me, but what DID they install in those spots where the clocks were supposed to go? Blank wood? Windows? Or....?

Les

Author:  rlsteam [ Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

The pictures available to me, a photo taken in 1907 that shows the bluff side dormer and a postcard from the same time period showing the track side dormer, both appear to show a round wooden covering perhaps an inch thick over the window opening. The Historic Structure Report prepared in 2014 by Restoric LLC states, "Small windows would be typical of the period and would facilitate access for emergency repairs and maintenance of the dormers which would be difficult to access otherwise." The architect's side elevation of the bluff side, drawn up for the reconstruction project, indicates a 4-foot-wide window in the dormer, with several diagonal lines drawn inside it that would indicate glass. So I am assuming there will be a glassed window in that space.

Author:  rlsteam [ Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Here's another video of the hoisting of the apex on August 31, created by the construction firm that built the apex.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N78bis39Gsw&feature=youtu.be

Author:  rlsteam [ Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Installation of new tiles is progressing up the reconstructed central tower, in this October 27 view. Additionally, eaves and soffit are being rebuilt around the downriver end of the Depot. Roof tiles will be installed on that portion of the building in 2017.

Attachments:
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depot_soffit_10-27-16.jpg
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Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Are the new tiles clay, same as the originals, or reproductions made with modern materials?

I just recently stopped by the restored depot at Waupaca, WI on the Soo Line, and was surprised to find that the original clay "Spanish" tile had been replaced by a pressed steel product, which didn't look bad. It also had the advantage of being considerably lighter in weight.

http://www.cityofwaupaca.org/development/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/03/Waupaca-Railroad-Depot-2.jpg

Author:  robertmacdowell [ Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

Interesting the difference in cultures. Here in California, Ceramic tile is widely used. It is considered a lovely roof aesthetically, and reknowned for durability. Basically if it isn't physically broken, it'll last forever. People replacing their roofs do the same calculus as anyone else, deciding for themselves whether to get the cheaper shingles or the more expensive but longer lasting tile.


It's sort of like those awesome wall or floor furnaces that work entirely without electricity, which have given us numerous dark and cozy nights, but people in the rust belt have never heard of them to the point of denying their existence. Although I have seen one in Keokuk!

Author:  rlsteam [ Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keokuk Union Depot Restored to Original Height

The tiles are clay, and made by the same company (Ludowici, of New Lexington, Ohio) that made the original tiles in 1891. (Or, at least, Ludowici at some point bought out the original manufacturer.) Our tiles are one of their stock colors, deemed very close to the originals. However, the new tiles are slightly thicker. Part of the reason for the deterioration of the original tiles (which came off around 1950) was that they were thinner and not able to withstand weather conditions, etc. through the years, and many had broken off. The new tiles should be more robust and probably last for a century. (The roof has been reinforced to bear the additional weight of the thicker tiles.)

Our policy is to use original-type materials as much as possible in the restoration of the Depot's exterior, so an imitation-tile solution was never considered. We attempt to be consistent with Secretary of the Interior guidelines regarding restoration of historic structures.

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