The Depot's roof restoration project has been 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.

Support the Jeffris Family Foundation 2020-2023 Challenge Grant Capital Campaign!
Read the Project Description, and download a Pledge Form. A Fillable Pledge Form is also available.
(These open as PDF files in separate windows.)

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.

Donate Funds Via PayPal

The Foundation's first main objective was to develop the funding for restoration of the Depot's roof. The aim was to restore the building to its 1891 exterior 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-area 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's first 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.

Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

Janet Smith, President
David Morgan, Vice-President
Robert Woodburn, Secretary
Joyce Taylor, Treasurer

Joyce Glasscock
Richard Leonard
Sandra Seabold

Debra Marion, Honorary Director

Although projected over a period of five years, the resoration activity funded by the successful Capital Campaign was finished off in 2018, one year ahead of schedule. This page presents photos of successive stages in the project, beginning with the 2014 announcement of the Jeffris Family Foundation's grant through completion of the roof tiling in 2018. For views of the completed roof, visit the Home Page.

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

Grants by other foundations and agencies, both local and national, and by community groups have contributed much to the restoration effort (see a partial list of recent grants at the bottom of this page). Significant grants by the Iowa Historical Resource Development Program (HDRP) were instrumental in accelerating work on the building's eaves and construction of the central tower's apex. An alarm system was installed in 2019 through the generosity of several granting organizations. Local Questers groups contributed 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.)

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

In 2014 Christen Sundquist Martin and her husband Matthew Martin, of Restoric LLC, created an O-gauge scale model of the restored Depot that was 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:

  • Write to the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation, P.O. Box 463, Keokuk, IA 52632
  • Or Email the Depot Foundation with your information: info@keokukuniondepot.org

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

Model of the restored Depot
The Depot on August 20, 2022, when railcars had been temporarily
removed from the trackage in front. Photo by Richard Leonard

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.

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

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

In June 2020 the Jeffris Family Foundation awarded a further challenge grant of $275,000 toward a Capital Campaign of $825,000 for additional restoration projects. The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation is required to raise a two-for-one match of $550,000 by June 30, 2023. The grant will enable improvements to the interior and exterior of the waiting room area, including:

  • reproducing the original marble and tile waiting room floor now covered by terrazzo
  • repointing and cleaning the brick walls to restore the original bright color
  • improving the restroom facilities and providing wheelchair access
  • shoring up the building’s foundation to prevent deterioration of the structure
  • installing period chandeliers to enhance the lighting and highlight the cathedral ceiling
  • restoring the trackside train Shed (canopy) to its original color and period lighting.

To contribute to this Capital Campaign, complete and return this Contribution/pledge Form. (A Fillable Form is also available. These forms open as PDF files in a separate window.)

Train Shed Rendering 2020
Matthew Martin created this rendering of the train shed
with restored period lighting for Restoric LLC, the
project manager for the Depot's restoration.

Your donation toward the restoration 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 Restoration Activity page.

Resources on This Site

  • Press release about completion of the restoration of the train shed (canopy), with photos
  • Article about $50,000 grant by the Iowa Historical Resource Development Program for restoration of the waiting room exterior masonry, National Railway Historical Society News, August 2022
  • Public Radio Interview with Depot Foundation president Janet M. Smith, August 19, 2022, discussing progress on the waiting room exterior masonry restoration project
  • Press release announcing award of a $50,000 grant by the Iowa Historical Resource Development Program for restoration of the waiting room exterior masonry
  • Article about the next phase in the restoration of the central tower, Daily Gate City , April 14, 2022
  • Press release announcing award of a $275,000 challenge grant by the Jeffris Family Foundation for restoration of the waiting room and train shed, June 17, 2020
  • Public Radio Interview with a director of the Jeffris Family Foundation on the Capital Campaign for roof restoration, aired October 10, 2019
  • Final Report for the "Depot 125" Capital Campaign with Donor Listing, Daily Gate City, September 20, 2019
  • Article about visit by directors of the Jeffris Family Foundation, Daily Gate City, September 9, 2019
  • Article about completion of roof restoration, National Railway Historical Society News, December 2018
  • Press release on completion of roof restoration, October 9, 2018
  • Article about completion of the Capital Campaign for roof restoration, National Railway Historical Society News, March 2018
  • Press release on completion of the Capital Campaign for roof restoration, January 31, 2018
  • Article about the Jeffris Family Foundation's role in the Depot's roof restoration, Traditional Building magazine, October 2017
  • Depot Foundation Secretary's report for the second half of 2016, listing gfts to the Capital Campaign and detailing progress in the roof restoration
  • Article about achievement of the Jeffris Foundation grant and continuing Capital Campaign, Daily Gate City, December 7, 2016
  • Video of lifting of the central tower apex, Daily Gate City, August 31, 2016
  • Article about the announcement of the roof restoration matching fund goal at the open house on July 2, 2016, Daily Gate City, July 6, 2016
  • Depot Foundation Secretary's report for the first half of 2016, detailing progress in the roof restoration
  • Article about the Depot's forthcoming 125th anniversary event on July 2, 2016, Daily Gate City, June 29, 2016
  • Article about the eaves, gutter and chimney restoration project, Daily Gate City, August 7, 2015
  • Article about the Capital Campaign launch, Daily Gate City, September 13, 2014
  • Article about the Jeffris Foundation grant, Daily Gate City, June 19, 2014
  • Historic Structure Report by Restoric, LLC, 2014
  • Depot Foundation IRS Form 990 for 2021
  • Depot Foundation IRS Form 990 for 2020
  • I.R.S. letter determining 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, February 26, 2013

Recent Grants to the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

  • On October 20, 2022 the Keokuk Area Community Foundation awarded a grant of $2,000 toward the restoration of the waiting room exterior masonry.
  • On August 12, 2022 the State Historical Society of Iowa Historical Resource Development Program anounced a grant of $50,000 toward the $280,000 project for restoration of the waiting room exterior masonry.
  • On November 18, 2021 the Keokuk Area Community Foundation (Arminda G. Bishop Estate Fund) awarded a grant of $5,000 toward ordering of masonry materials for restoration of the waiting room exterior.
  • On September 8, 2021, the Grace Bott Millar Foundation (through Connection Bank) awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Depot Foundation toward the 2020-2023 Capital Campaign for additional Depot restoration.
  • On September 8, 2021 the the Howard Jackson Family Trust awarded a grant of $5,000 to the Depot Foundation toward the 2020-2023 Capital Campaign for additional Depot restoration.
  • On June 21, 2021 the Lee County Charitable Fund awarded a grant of $4750 to the Depot Foundation toward the restoration of the trackside canopy (train shed).
  • On October 28, 2019 Keokuk Walmart awarded a grant of $2,500 for interior brick repairs.
  • In December 2018 Keokuk Walmart awarded a grant for a sound system.
  • On November 19, 2018 the Keokuk Area Community Foundation awarded a grant of $2,500 to the Depot Foundation toward the installation of an alarm system.
  • On September 14, 2018 the Howard Jackson Family Trust awarded a grant of $2,500 to the Depot Foundation toward the installation of an alarm system.
  • On July 6, 2018 the Lee County Charitable Fund awarded a grant of $2500 to the Depot Foundation toward the installation of an alarm system.
  • On May 30, 2018 the Grace Bott Millar Foundation (through Connection Bank) awarded a grant of $2,500 to the Depot Foundation toward the installation of an alarm system.
  • On November 29, 2017 the Keokuk Area Community Foundation awarded a grant of $2,500 to the Depot Foundation toward the completion of the roof restoration project.
  • On July 1, 2017, the Lee County Charitable Fund awarded a $5,000 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 $1,000 to the Depot Foundation toward the roof restoration project.
  • On May 1, 2017, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced a grant of $5,000 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 Connection Bank) awarded a grant of $6,500 to the Depot Foundation 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, Edge, 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 was the Foundation's major goal diuring this phase. 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 brought the project to completion in 2018; for views of the completed roof restoration, visit the Home Page. Photos by Neal Vogel