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
Campaign and detailing progress on the roof restoration project. The article from the Daily Gate
City about the Depot's 125th anniversary celebration on July 2, 2016 is included.
(Opens as a PDF file in a separate window.)
Join the Campaign to Complete the Depot's Roof Restoration!
Everyone who makes a new donation of $125 or more to the "Depot 125 Club," additional to any pledges or gifts made
before November 1, 2015, becomes a charter member of this special group of Depot supporters. For more information
about the "Depot 125 Club," read the letter from Depot Foundation president Janet Smith describing the project,
and click here to download the "Depot 125 Club" contribution form.
(For a fillable PDF form, click here.)
In 2014 the Jeffris Family Foundation awarded a $333,000 one-third matching grant toward the estimated $1 million cost
of restoring the Depot's clay tile roof and central tower. By the Depot's 125th anniversary in July 2016 it was evident
that the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation would achieve the remaining $667,000. The State Historical Society of
Iowa, Historical Resource Development Program has also supported this project with significant grants.
Consequently, work commenced on reconstruction of the Depot's central tower in the summer of
2016. The capital campaign continues into 2017, however, because additional funds will be
required to address needs that came to light during the restoration work. For more
information visit the "Depot 125" Capital Campaign page.
Special Commemorative Print "Spring Snow at Keokuk Station" by Don Hetzel
Local artist Don Hetzel has donated a print of his painting "Spring Snow at Keokuk Station" to the Depot's Capital Campaign. A limited edition of 200 copies are available for purchase, with proceeds going toward the Jeffris Family Foundation 2-for-1 match. For details on how to purchase a print, visit the Depot Gift Shoppe page. Please note, this offer expires December 31, 2016.
Recent and Upcoming Events at the Depot
(Upcoming public events are in bold type.)
Funds raised through events at the Depot will count toward the Jeffris Family Foundation
2-for-1 match to earn the $333,000 grant for restoration of the Depot roof.
- Saturday, November 5, 2016 — Wedding Reception (Private)
- Saturday, November 20, 2016 — Baby Shower (Private)
- Thursday, November 24, 2016 — Family Thanksgiving (Private)
- Saturday, November 26, 2016 — Birthday Party (Private)
- Saturday, December 3, 2016, 7:30 p.m. — Switchback Concert, Admission $20.00. Co-sponsored by Keokuk Cultural and Entertainment District, Keokuk Fine Arts Council, and Nancy Seabold, Realtor.
- Saturday, December 17, 2016 — Family Christmas (Private)
- Saturday, January 3, 2017 — Baby Shower (Private)
- Saturday, January 28, 2017 — Birthday Party (Private)
- Saturday, March 9, 2017 — Wedding (Private)
- Friday, May 12, 2017 — Graduation Party (Private)
- Saturday, May 20, 2017 — Graduation Party (Private)
- Sunday, May 21, 2017 — Graduation Party (Private)
- Saturday, May 27, 2017 — Wedding (Private)
- Sunday, May 28, 2017 — Wedding Reception (Private)
- Friday-Sunday, June 9-11, 2017 — Keokuk Arts Festival
- Saturday, September 9, 2017 — Wedding (Private)
- Saturday, September 16, 2017 — Keokuk High School Class of 1962 Reunion (Private)
- Saturday, October 7, 2017 — Wedding (Private)
Rent the Depot for your community, group, or family activity! Phone Debra Marion, 319-520-8830 for information
and available dates. Click here to view the Depot Rental Agreement. (PDF file opens in a separate window.)
You can also support the Depot by registering with Amazon Smile. Once you set up "Keokuk Union Depot Foundation"
as recipient of your donations, a percentage of every Amazon purchase benefits the Depot capital campaign. Then
change your Amazon bookmark(s) to go to Amazon Smile and it will appear just like your regular Amazon page.
(Don't forget to do this with every browser you use, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.)
Preserving the Historic Keokuk Union Depot
In 2011 the City of Keokuk, Iowa, acquired the Keokuk Union Depot from Pioneer Railcorp for the purpose of historic preservation and community use. and leased the associated real estate for 99 years. Erected in 1891, the building was designed by the Chicago architectural firm Burnham and Root. It is notable as one of John Root's last designs for public buildings in his distinctive Romanesque Revival style. Thereafter, with Root's death in 1891, architectural design in North America took a different turn.
How You Can Help
- To volunteer to help with preservation activities, email the Depot Commission.
- To donate funds to the preservation effort, visit the Depot Foundation page.
- Or write to Keokuk Union Depot, P.O. Box 463, Keokuk, IA 52632.
The Depot waiting room in August 2012. Photo by Richard Leonard
Architectural features of the Depot include Root's characteristic use of earth tones, arched windows and high-pitched roofline; the interior features an oak-paneled waiting room and octagonal ticket booth. For the history of the Keokuk Union Depot visit our History page.
The Depot is located at Johnson and South Water Streets, between the Mississippi River and the limestone bluff along its west bank, and fronts on rail trackage used by BNSF Railway and the Keokuk Junction Railway (part of the Pioneer Railcorp system). The site is a block down-river from the US-136 highway bridge between Hamilton, Illinois and Keokuk.
This bronze plaque records the Depot's listing on the National
Register of Historic Places. Photo by Richard Leonard
The City of Keokuk established the Union Depot Commission to oversee the project of preservation and conversion to end use, principally as a space for community activities. An intern from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago developed an architectural study eventuating in the Depot's being listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Register is maintained by the National Park Service.
Restoric LLC, a Chicago firm specializing in the restoration of historic structures completed a thorough architectural study in 2012 and produced a 180-page Historic Structure Report. The plans drawn up from this document form the basis for returning the Depot as closely as possible to its
The Depot in March 2014, before roof restoration was begun,
as seen from the Mississippi River bridge. Photo by John Miller
1891 appearance, including replacing the deteriorated shingled roof with clay tiles and rebuilding the central peaked tower, which was leveled off in the late 1940s.
The Depot in December 2016, showing progress in reconstruction
and tiling of the central tower. Photo by Richard Leonard
The Keokuk Union Depot Commission administers the preservation project as part of Keokuk's larger Riverfront Development Master Plan. However, no municipal tax funds are to be used for Depot rehabilitation. A separate Keokuk Union Depot Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable organization, was established in 2012 to raise the necessary funds from grants and private sources. The Foundation secured a matching grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation toward the $1 million cost of restoring the roof — the initial phase in preserving the building. Although major rehabilitation work has been contracted, particularly roof and masonry repairs, much work has been done by volunteers. For updates on the restoration effort, visit our Preservation Activity page.
The Keokuk Union Depot Commission meeting at
the Depot, August 2014. Photo by Richard Leonard
Keokuk Union Depot Commission
Debra Marion, President
Stephen Celania, Vice-President
Thomas Seabold, Secretary
Sandra Seabold, Treasurer
Depot gift and souvenir items are available. Proceeds
go toward the restoration effort. To purchase
these items, visit the Depot Gift Shoppe.
Do you have a memory of the Keokuk Union Depot, or an old photo? Email it to the Depot Commission.
If volunteers are not present when you visit the Depot, phone one of these numbers to arrange a tour:
This postcard from 1923 depicts the Depot from the south (down-river) side, with the baggage carts that were in use when passenger trains served Keokuk.