You are invited to the Rededication Celebration of the Santa Fe Depot, 413 E. 7th Street, on February 22 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The renovation of the depot is one of the greatest midcentury preservation efforts in Kansas and Lawrence. Speakers (including one of the original architects) will start at 4 p.m and the depot will be open to tour.
The depot was designed by Warren Corman and Warren Jones and completed in 1956. Preservation efforts have drawn a diverse group of activists with various interests, yet everyone shared the common goal to preserve the depot after years of neglect.
Lawrence Modern has been involved since the beginning nine years ago with Depot Redux, the non-profit advocacy group founded by Carey Maynard-Moody. Depot Redux worked diligently with numerous city commissions, two city managers, the Historic Resource Commission, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Amtrak for the city to take over ownership of the building. This enabled the city to submit the nomination, written by Dennis Domer, for the depot to be listed on the National, Kansas and Lawrence Historic Registers. That in turn facilitated a Transportation Enhancement grant administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation and matching funds from the city to fund the extensive renovation.
On February 22 you will find that the building looks very similar to what it looked like in 1956. What you won’t see is the new geothermal HVAC, new electrical, plumbing and a new roof. There is fresh paint and new aluminum fascia wrapped around the various roof elevations. The bathrooms, entrances, walkways and platform now meet American with Disabilities guidelines. The operable windows have interior storm windows and screens that blend seamlessly with the north and south walls.
First Management Construction was in charge of the renovation and Stan Hernly of Hernly Associates Inc. was the architect who made sure the renovation adhered to historic guidelines.
Diane Stoddard, Lawrence’s assistant city manager, provided the leadership and determination for the depot ownership to be transferred to the city. Without Diane, the depot still would be owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and falling into a worse state. LPA presented Depot Redux and Stoddard with Preservation Achievement Awards in 2017 for their work preserving the depot.
We are happy and grateful to all of the citizens of Lawrence who were involved with this successful preservation effort and look forward to sharing the depot with you.