Keokuk Union Depot Foundation completes trackside canopy restoration

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT
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KEOKUK, Iowa (KWQC) - Keokuk Union Depot Foundation completed the restoration of the trackside canopy at the Keokuk Union Depot.

The trackside canopy was restored to its 1891 appearance as designed by renowned Chicago architects Burnham & Root, according to a media release from the foundation. The canopy again has its original color scheme, which blends beautifully with the Depot’s restored tile roof and eaves.

The trackside canopy was restored to its 1891 appearance as designed by renowned Chicago...
The trackside canopy was restored to its 1891 appearance as designed by renowned Chicago architects Burnham & Root, according to a media release from the foundation. The canopy again has its original color scheme, which blends beautifully with the Depot’s restored tile roof and eaves.(Keokuk Union Depot Foundation)

The restoration was overseen by Keokuk local, historic preservation consultant and project manager Neal Vogel, Principal of Restoric, LLC, the foundation said. Quincy Industrial Painting removed decades of rust and multiple layers of paint on the superstructure and underside of the canopy, as well as priming the areas to be painted.

According to the foundation, the original structure of cast iron and corrugated steel mainly remains, three of the eleven footings holding the trusses supporting the canopy were damaged beyond repair and had to be reproduced from a mold taken from another footing.

According to Vogel, the Depot’s turtleback canopy is the last surviving train shed of its kind and era still intact in the United States. He will present his findings at the Depot on Oct. 2, at 3 p.m.

Locals who helped with the painting, welding and installing period lighting fixtures included; Jordon Barnes, Damon Cackley, Jay Burton, Matt Eaton, Caleb Atterberg, Colton Atterberg, Woodie Brasil, Eli Riddle, Joe McNally, Jaren Wade, Mark Stanley (welding), and John Symmonds (lighting).

The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation said it paid for the canopy project with part of the donations made so far by approximately 200 supporters toward the 2020 Jeffris Family Foundation Challenge Grant Capital Campaign.

The second phase of restoration has begun, which includes the waiting room exterior masonry and the exterior masonry of the adjacent central tower section, the foundation said. When the exterior masonry is completed, the third and final phase of the current project; the restoration of the waiting room interior will begin.

The foundation said it recently received a $50,000 grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa, Historical Resource Program for the waiting room exterior masonry. If they raise $550,000 by June 30, the foundation will earn the award of the $275,000 Jeffris grant. Including the recent state grant, as of August 31, the Depot Foundation has raised $338,000 toward the Jeffris match.

The foundation said, contributions to the capital campaign may be sent to KUDF, P.O. Box 463, Keokuk, IA 52632.