Railroad decides to raze depot | SteamboatToday.com

Railroad decides to raze depot

Ryan Sheridan

— Union Pacific Railroad has decided its train depot at 304 Yampa Ave. in Craig should be demolished.

During a periodic review of unused holdings, the company ruled it is no longer necessary to hold the piece of property and pay taxes on the building. Union Pacific has begun the process of finding a company to handle the dismantling and disposal of the building.

“Periodically, we go through our facilities, looking at the building’s structure, and if it’s not in use, what its condition is,” said Alex Tice, community relations director for Union Pacific Railroad. “These buildings are just like houses if you’re not using it, what’s the value of paying taxes or for maintenance?”

Nothing will happen for at least two weeks while the bid process begins, and there is still an opportunity for the depot to be preserved, he said.

“We’re not in the business of historical preservation, but if a group does want to preserve this building, we would gladly work with them if something could be worked out in a reasonable amount of time,” Tice said.

The building would probably have to be purchased and moved because Union Pacific routinely keeps land involved in such preservations for track or switching stations, he said.

With community support, such a move could be delayed long enough to find a way to preserve the depot, said Dan Davidson, director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

“We could list the depot locally, by the museum board, and still get state funding for the project even if we did move it,” Davidson said. “I think it’s important that we look at what is possible before it’s too late and the decision is made for us.”

Davidson is researching options for designation and with state and national historical preservation entities. Moving a building of its size, structure and age is estimated at $75,000 to $80,000, Davidson said.

The Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado has an interest in preserving the building, even though Union Pacific will not donate it, said Gail Severson, foundation president.

“We would hate to see it demolished, but Union Pacific basically won’t donate the building because of liability reasons,” she said. “We’re still trying real hard to get the depot. Outside of the cowboy collection, it’s our No. 1 priority.”

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