Almost two decades after its reopening, the Old Depot Museum is planning a program to examine the efforts that went into restoring the former Santa Fe railroad depot it is now housed in.
The free presentation, “New Life for Old Buildings: Meeting the Preservation Standards at the Old Depot Museum,” is set for 2 p.m. April 2 at the museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St., Ottawa. Michael Cornwell, an architect with Sabatini Architects in Lawrence and the project manager for the museum restoration, will speak on the planning and work that goes into preserving a historic building, according to a museum news release.
Cornwell is set to talk about the value of preserving historic buildings using the museum as an example of how it’s possible to bring life into old buildings, the release said.
The museum closed for two and a half years for restoration in the late 1990s, according to the release. During that time, plasterwork was repaired, the red roof and the platform roof were replaced and repaired, an elevator was added, limestone walls were repointed and electrical, plumbing and HVAC were upgraded. Outside trim and interior walls, ceilings and floors were repainted as well.
“When the Franklin County Historical Society received a major Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act grant to restore and rehabilitate the former Santa Fe Depot that is now the Old Depot Museum, the FCHS faced many decisions while also building community support,” the release said.
“Even with the substantial grant and additional funds raised, the project would not have been completed without the assistance of volunteers and local community organizations, who applied more than 150 gallons of paint before the museum reopened in 1999.”
Open to the public, the program is offered as a part of the museum’s current exhibit, “Historically Significant: How History Shapes Us, Our Communities and Our Future.”