Archive for Tuesday, September 16, 1997


September 16, 1997


Other local projects to receive preservation awards Saturday

The renovated Union Pacific Depot in North Lawrence tops a list of four local projects to be recognized this weekend for preservation excellence.

The Kansas Preservation Alliance (KPA), during its annual meeting Saturday in Hutchinson, will present awards for excellence to 14 projects statewide, including two in Lawrence, one in Baldwin and another at Clinton Lake.

"It's a big deal," said Dennis Domer, a KPA board member and associate dean of Kansas University's School of Architecture and Urban Design. "There are a lot of preservation projects across the state, and ... these are exemplary. People say, `Oh, yes, this is how it should be done.' "

The Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. Second, opened 18 months ago, a dozen years after Union Pacific officials halted freight service at the site and announced plans to raze the depot.

Since then, nearly $1.4 million worth of renovations, landscaping, parking lot construction and even a public sculpture have returned the depot to a place of prominence in Lawrence. It operates now as a public meeting space and visitors center.

"We are very delighted to receive this award," said David Corliss, the city's director of legal services, who served as project manager. "It's a wonderful recognition for all of the Lawrence citizens who worked for many years to restore the depot."

Domer, who teaches preservation courses at KU, said the project offered an outstanding example of what preservation could accomplish.

While the refurbished depot features a modern use, it still maintains its charms: a reconstructed steeple, detailed exterior stonework and extension of the depot's exterior waiting area.

Even an old indoor ticket booth is represented through a tile outline on the floor. Domer said the late John Lee, project architect, exhaustively researched the building's history and incorporated it into the project.

"I would say that the Union Pacific Depot is outstanding for its sensitivity to the past," Domer said. "It was a great thing for Lawrence to have done."

Also significant was the cooperative work that went into the project, Domer said. The city, Lawrence Preservation Alliance, Depot Management Board and Lee all will be recognized during Saturday's meeting.

"Old enemies unified around the Union Pacific Depot to make it happen," Domer said. "Lawrence should be a applauded for this. It got together around a very important building."

Other local projects to be recognized Saturday:

  • House Building, 729-731 Mass., considered the oldest commercial building to survive Quantrill's Raid. Among the honorees: Carol Francis, owner.
  • Mulvane Hall at Baker University, Baldwin, for its restoration of existing windows. Among the honorees: Baker University.
  • Barber School, at Clinton Lake, for its renovation for reuse as an indoor-outdoor educational center. Among the honorees: KU School of Architecture and Urban Design and Douglas County Preservation Alliance, co-sponsors; Kansas Wildlife and Parks, owner; Barry Newton, architect; Karl Gridley, stone mason; Dan Rockhill, roof construction; and Domer, landscape consultant.

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