- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) - Volunteers have nearly completed the first stage of renovations on the old Union Depot in Keokuk, where they have been working on the 124-year-old building’s roof.

Workers have finished raising a chimney several feet to match the original design of the building, the Hawk Eye reported (https://bit.ly/1jfsiF8 ) Friday. Crews will return next year to finish the $1 million project, including restoring the eaves, soffits, decorative brackets and copper gutters.

The building’s original tower also will be restored, according to Neal Vogel, head of the Chicagobased historic preservation consulting firm Restoric LLC.

“One thing we’ve noticed as we’re stripping the chimney down and doing those eaves is that the brick was a vibrant orange color. It’s not red at all,” Vogel said.

Once the orange look of the original bricks is restored, the depot will not look nearly as dark as it does now, he said.

The rest of the roof will be restored to its original 1891 state, including clay tiles, thanks in part to a $333,000 grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation in Janesville, Wisconsin. To receive the grant, the Union Depot Foundation must raise twice the amount: $667,000.

“We’ve raised almost $450,000 of that, and we have until 2017 to raise the rest,” said Sandy Seabold, treasurer of the foundation. “Our real hope is (to) start work in July of next year, because that will be the 125th anniversary of the depot.”

Keokuk once was a hub, with five railroads serving the community at the confluence of the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers. The depot was designed by noted Chicago architects John Root and Daniel Burnham.

The Keokuk City Council bought the depot for $1 in 2010 and it is used as a community event center.

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Information from: The Hawk Eye, https://www.thehawkeye.com


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