Progress Report for the First Half of 2016
Read the Depot Foundation Secretary's report for the first half of 2016, listing donors to the Capital
Join the "Depot 125 Club" and help us start the complete roof project by the Depot's 125th anniversary, July 2016.
You can also support the Depot by registering with Amazon Smile. Once you set up "Keokuk Union Depot Foundation"
Please note that all donations received by September 30, 2017 will count toward the Jeffris Family
Our sincere thanks to all Keokuk area residents who have taken part in Depot events in 2014; have volunteered to maintain and improve the Depot; or have pledged toward the "Depot 125" capital campaign! View the 2014 List of Donors and Volunteers.
"Depot 125" Capital Campaign
Celebrating the Keokuk Union Depot's 125th Anniversary, July 2016
The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation, together with the Keokuk Union Depot Commission, is undertaking to restore the Keokuk Union Depot to its original 1891 design, while adapting the building to serve the community in a manner consistent with both historic preservation standards and contemporary requirements for public use. To guide the restoration process Restoric LLC, a Chicago firm specializing in restoration of historic buildings, has prepared a detailed Historic Structure Report.
For Information About the Depot
The first major step in this process is replacement of the deteriorating shingled roof with clay tiles similar to those used in the original construction, together with restoration of the peaked central tower which was leveled off around 1950. The cost of this undertaking is estimated at $1 million.
Developing the Funding
The Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, Wisconsin has awarded a grant of $333,000 toward restoration of the Depot roof. This is a challenge grant designed to stimulate local contributions. The Jeffris Family Foundation focuses on preservation and restoration of structures of significant historic and architectural value in the Midwest. To earn this grant, the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation must raise a 2-for-1 match of $667,000 by September 30, 2017. As of July 2016, the goal is in sight and work on the project has begun. Substantial grants for specific phases of the project from the Iowa Historical Resources Development Program (HRDP) have been instrumental in accelerating the pace of the restoration.
The Dwell Magazine Award and Video
On March 8, 2012, Dwell Magazine, a San Francisco architectural publication, announced that the Keokuk Union Depot was the winner of the $10,000 "Rethinking Preservation" award sponsored by SubZero. The Depot topped a list of 118 entries on behalf of architectural landmarks. Christen Sundquist Martin, architectural intern from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, entered the Depot in the competition because of its distinction as one of the few remaining depots designed by Burnham and Root. School students from the Keokuk area were instrumental in swelling the vote total for the Depot.
A team from Dwell visited Keokuk in May 2012 and created a five-minute video, Preserving the Keokuk Union Depot. An article on the project appeared in the October 2012 issue of Dwell. The Dwell award underwrote the Historic Structure Report that will guide future restoration efforts.
Why is restoring the Depot important?
The Keokuk Union Depot was designed by the renowned Chicago firm of Burnham & Root, creators of the famed Chicago "White City" for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Depot is one of the few remaining examples of John Wellborn Root's Romanesque Revival style of public architecture; notably, few of his railroad stations are extant.
The Keokuk edifice is recognized as architecturally significant by state and national historians, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Restoring the original roofline and clay tile roofing are the most crucial steps toward recovering the elegant aesthetic effect of the Depot, as well as preserving the building as a whole. Subsequent projects include restoration of the platform "train shed" and the adaptive re-use of interior spaces to serve the needs of the community.
Pledge Toward the Capital Campaign
Click here to download a form to to use when
Give to the Campaign Via PayPal
Or mail your gift to: Keokuk Union Depot,
Christen and Matthew Martin, of Restoric LLC, created this model of the restored Depot now displayed at various locations in Keokuk to raise awareness of the Depot project. To learn how the Martins designed and assembled the model, read Christen's article in the February 2016 issue of the Keokuk Confluence (opens as a PDF file in a new window).
Keokuk Union Depot Foundation