To the editor:
One of the things that makes Lawrence special is our historic buildings and neighborhoods. The depot at Seventh and New York is one of our crown jewels of modern architecture in Lawrence. It is eligible for listing on the Register of Historic Places. It is worthy of preservation. It is a gateway to our city, part of the infrastructure of a sustainable transportation system.
Directed by the City Commission, city management submits grant applications and pursues ownership transfer of the depot.
Amtrak is working to craft a policy allowing it to continue to be the responsible party for the ADA compliance upgrades to our station after the city assumes ownership. This move is prompted by the lobbying efforts of Depot Redux and the efforts of city management.
Depot Redux is a 501c3, not for profit, community organization with a board of directors and many paid members. In addition to its work with city management and Amtrak, Depot Redux volunteers supplement passenger services at the depot.
Fundraising efforts by Depot Redux members are promised once the city assumes ownership and receives matching grants. Citizens are more likely to support a campaign to rehabilitate the station if the city shows its support by accepting ownership.
This is a community project that requires collaboration of government, citizens, and Depot Redux. It is important to get on board before the train leaves the station (or in our case, the station leaves the train).