Historic train depot added to state endangered list
The historic Grand Junction Train Depot was built 104 years ago at 119 Pitkin Ave.
Thursday, it was added to the list of Colorado’s most endangered places.
Appearing on the list will not protect a building or site from being demolished, but it does draw attention from lawmakers and potential buyers to the building, said Bennett Boeschenstein, a member of Friends of the Grand Junction Union Depot. The group has advocated for the building’s preservation and restoration since the building went into foreclosure last year.
A mortgage for just under $166,000 on the depot did not sell at a foreclosure auction in December. Any successful bidder would have had to buy three additional mortgages from Alpine Bank to own the depot outright.
The property is listed for $799,000 with George Dunham Real Estate. The price has dropped $301,000 since last summer.
Boeschenstein said Friends of the Depot hopes the depot’s appearance on the endangered-places list will help find a buyer that will restore the building to its original vibrance. The building’s architecture is the most ornate in Colorado aside from Denver’s Union Station, Boeschenstein said, and he could see the property being shared by Amtrak, an art gallery, a coffee shop and other amenities.
He said he also would like to see improved sidewalk access stretching from the station to downtown Main Street.
Friends of the Depot member Kathy Jordan nominated the vacant train station for the endangered list and attended the Colorado Preservation Inc. luncheon in Denver, where the depot’s addition to the list was confirmed.
“It’s a huge deal for the state of Colorado,” Jordan said.
The depot was among six sites across the state added to the list Thursday. Also added were the Colorado State Capitol Dome in Denver, the Elkhorn Lodge in Estes Park, Willowcroft Manor and Farm in Arapahoe County, Brown’s Sheep Camp at Fort Carson and outbuildings in Lake City.
Eighty places have been put on the list since its inception in 1997, according to a news release from Colorado Preservation Inc. Only three sites have been demolished after being added to the list.