The Keokuk Union Depot – Its Role in Midwest Industry and Culture

Embarking on the historic preservation of the Keokuk Union Depot has led Ms. Smith, along with her fellow Foundation directors, Depot volunteers, and professional historic preservation advisors, to gather information about the Depot’s architectural significance and its role in the industry and culture of the region.  As one of the last projects of John Root of the renowned Chicago architectural firm Burnham & Root, the Depot represented the grandeur of the railroads at the turn of the 20th century.  Built in recognition of the need for centralized rail service to cater to local industry, the Depot has passed through many stages and is set to embark on its newest phase.  Ms. Smith will discuss these historical stages and the Depot’s place in local history.

A retired lawyer, Janet Smith has served as president of the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation since 2012 and is coordinating the current efforts to restore the 1891 Depot’s roof to its original height and design.

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