The Depot's roof restoration project is supported in part by the Jeffris Family Foundation, the State Historical Society
of Iowa Historical Resource Development Program (HDRP), the Lee County Charitable Fund, the Keokuk Area
Community Foundation
, and the the Landes Fund for Iowa of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

Donations for the restoration of the Keokuk Union Depot are made through the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation, established in September 2012 as an Iowa not-for-profit corporation. The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your donation to the Depot Foundation is tax deductible per the I.R.S. determination letter of February 6, 2013.

Your 2018 Depot Membership

Become a member of the Keokuk Union Depot! There are three membership levels: Contributing, Supporting, and Sustaining. For information read the letter from Foundation President Janet Smith, and click here for the Annual Membership Form.
(PDF files open in a separate window).

The Foundation's principal goal has been to develop the funding for restoration of the Depot's roof. The aim has been to restore the building to its 1891 appearance by reconstructing the peaked central tower that was truncated around 1950; replacing the deteriorated shingled roofing (see photo at the bottom of this page) with clay tiles; restoring the gutters; and rebuilding the chimney. Restoric LLC, a Chicago firm specializing in restoration of historic buildings, prepared a detailed Historic Structure Report that guides the ongoing restoration work.

Announcing the Jeffris Foundation challenge grant, June 2014
Depot Foundation President Janet M. Smith announces the awarding
of the Jeffris Family Foundation challenge grant on June 18, 2014.
Photo by Richard Leonard

In 2014 the Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, Wisconsin, awarded a one-third matching grant of $333,000 toward the roof restoration. The Depot Foundation raised the remaining $667,000 to achieve the initial Capital Campaign goal of $1 million, allowing work on the central tower to begin in 2016 during the Depot's 125th anniversary year.

Eaves deconstruction, August 2015
Initial phase of the roof restoration project included reconstruction
of the eaves and gutters around the waiting room,
begun in August 2015. Photo by Richard Leonard

Significant grants by the Iowa Historical Resource Development Program (HDRP) were also instrumental in accelerating work on the building's eaves and construction of the central tower's apex. Grants by other foundations, both local and national, and by community groups have contributed much to the effort (see a partial list of recent grants at the bottom of this page).

Restored eaves, October 2017
A view of the reconstructed eaves with faux woodgrain finish on
the decorative brackets, Fall 2017. Photo by Neal Vogel

Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

Janet Smith, President
David Morgan, Vice-President
Robert Woodburn, Secretary
Sandra Seabold, Treasurer

Joyce Glasscock
Richard Leonard
Debra Marion
Mary Jo Scheetz

The central tower's apex under construction, August 2016
The central tower apex under construction in August 2016.
Photo by John Miller

In 2014 Christen Sundquist Martin and her husband Matthew Martin, of Restoric LLC, created an O-gauge scale model of the restored Depot that has been displayed at various locations in Keokuk Tri-State area to raise awareness of the Depot project. The model features removable roof sections for an interior view, and compares the restored tile roof with the prior shingled roof.

Model of the restored Depot
This model of the restored Depot was created by Christen and
Matthew Martin of Restoric LLC. Photo by Richard Leonard

To learn how the Martins painstakingly designed and assembled the model, read Christen's article in the February 2016 issue of the Keokuk Confluence, published by the Keokuk Cultural and Entertainment District (opens as a PDF file in a new window).

Donating Stock

The Foundation maintains an account through which it can receive donations of stock. To arrange for such a donation:

Please include the following information in your inquiry:

  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • The name of the company that is the subject of your donation
  • The number of shares of stock to be transferred
  • The date on which you want to make the transfer

A board member of the Foundation will contact you and provide you with the information you need to complete the transfer. Thank you for your generous support.

This page presents photos of successive stages in the restoration of the Depot's roof, beginning with the 2014 announcement of the Jeffris Family Foundation's challenge grant through near-completion of the roof reconstruction and tiling in 2017. Tiling of two hips on the up-river end of the building will be completed in 2018, pending delivery of tiles of the correct angle.

New apex put in place, August 30, 2016
The reconstructed central tower apex being lifted into
place on August 31, 2016. Photo by Robert Woodburn

A milestone in the roof restoration effort occurred on August 31, 2016, when many members of the community gathered to witness the reconstructed apex being lifted to its place atop the central tower. A round of applause broke out as it came to rest! McDowell Crane & Rigging, Inc. of Keokuk donated the labor and equipment for this operation.

Depot central tower, November 17, 2017
The Depot's central tower in November 2017, complete with
turrets, dormers, and glazed window. Photo by Janet M. Smith

Donate Funds Via PayPal

Your donation toward the preservation of the Depot is always supplemented by the work of our loyal corps of volunteers, whose labors help to reduce the cost of any project. To review the progress of restoration efforts by both volunteers and special contractors, visit our Preservation Activity page.

Depot viewed from bridge, November 24, 2017
This November 2017 view from the US-136 bridge shows the roof
restoration almost complete, with some work remaining for 2018.
Photo by Janet M. Smith

Local Questers groups have granted more than $14,000 toward restoration of the waiting room's windows, interior paneling, and doorways, a project completed in 2015. (The Questers are an organization devoted to the preservation of historical buildings, sites and artifacts.)

Ticket office, 1969 and 2012
At left is the ticket window as originally built, except for the coat
of paint. 1969 Photo by Alan Brotherton. At right is the current
appearance, with much of the paneling removed.

Other interior work awaiting funding includes restoring the ticket office to its earlier appearance. As the photo above shows, some of the wood paneling had been removed to provide access from the waiting room. Originally, however, there were only the two ticket windows on either side and the train bulletin board on the front; access was through a smaller door at the far end. Renovation of the platform umbrella (train shed) is a future exterior project to be separately funded.

Resources on This Site

Farmer's market table, 2017
The Foundation offers a variety of Depot gift and souvenir items, such
as these T-shirts being sold at the Keokuk Farmers' Market in 2017.
For items currently available, visit the Depot Gift Shoppe.
Photo by Richard Leonard

Recent Grants to the Depot Restoration Effort

  • On November 29, 2017 the Keokuk Area Community Foundation awarded a grant of $2500 to the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation toward the completion of the roof restoration project.
  • On July 1, 2017, the Lee County Charitable Fund awarded a $5000 grant to the Depot Foundation toward the completion of the roof restoration project.
  • On May 8, 2017, the Tom E. Dailey Foundation, Inc. of Chicago announced a grant of $1000 toward the roof restoration project.
  • On May 1, 2017, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced a grant of $5000 to the Depot Foundation, to be invested in the ongoing work of restoring the Depot's roof. Click here to read their grant announcement.
  • On February 15, 2017, the Grace Bott Millar Foundation (through Connections Bank) awarded the Depot Foundation a $6000 grant toward the roof restoration project.
Visit the Depot Gift Shoppe!

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.)

The Depot in 2015 and 2017
These two images exhibit the progress in roof restoration from 2015 through 2017. The photo on the left, from August 2015, shows the truncated central
tower before it was restored to its original height in 2016. Also shown is temporary protective metal roofing over the freight area. The photo on the
right, from December 2017, reveals the restoration and tiling of the central tower in 2016 and the tiling of the down-river and most of the up-river
roof in 2017. Restoration of the entire roof to its 1891 tiled appearance has been the Foundation's major goal. The Jeffris Family Foundation
awarded a $333,000 one-third matching grant for this purpose, which was met in 2016 through a Capital Campaign that raised $667,000.
Additional funds are still being sought to cover needs that came to light once restoration work was under way. Photos by Neal Vogel