Architect to talk about how Ottawa, Kansas, Santa Fe Depot became the Old Depot Museum

Franklin County Historical Society/Old Depot Museum News Release

Contact: Diana Staresinic-Deane, Manager, Old Depot Museum

work: (785) 242-1250 cell: (785) 248-4815

Architect to speak on giving new life to historic buildings at the Old Depot Museum on April 2

Ottawa, Kansas—Nearly two decades after reopening after an extensive rehabilitation, the Old Depot Museum is offering a special program to examine the giant effort that went into making the museum what it is today. Architect Michael Cornwell will talk about planning and work that goes into preserving a historic building during his presentation, “New Life for Old Buildings: Meeting the Preservation Standards at the Old Depot Museum,” on Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m.

When the Franklin County Historical Society received a major Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) 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.

During the two and a half years the museum was closed, the distinctive red roof was replaced, the platform roof was repaired, the limestone walls were repointed, plasterwork was repaired, an elevator was added, the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC were upgraded, and all of the exterior trim as well as the interior walls, ceilings, and floors were repainted.

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.

Michael Cornwell served as the project manager, guiding the historical society through the process of envisioning the building as an artifact as well as the FCHS’s flagship museum. During his program, he will talk about the value of preserving our historic structures and will use the Old Depot Museum’s structure to showcase how it is possible to bring new life to old buildings.
This program is being offered as part of the Old Depot Museum’s current exhibit, Historically Significant: How History Shapes Us, Our Communities, and Our Future. The program is open to the public and free to attend. For more information, call (785) 242-1250.

Founded in 1937, the Franklin County Historical Society strives to preserve, present, and promote the history of Franklin County. The Old Depot Museum shares the history of trains in small towns as well as the history of Franklin County. It is part of the Franklin County Historical Society.

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