Nobody’s onboard at the Grand Junction Depot
The Grand Junction Depot, once a jewel on the string of rails across the United States, has sat empty now for decades.
The current owner, Lynn Greenwald of Fort Collins, no longer can make the payments on the $740,000 loan for the structure that opened in 1906 and once housed refugees from the San Francisco earthquake.
Greenwood once considered a brew pub and restaurant for the building at 119 Pitkin Ave., an idea that has played out well in older buildings in Grand Junction and elsewhere, but which has become more problematic as the economy has tumbled.
Greenwood is not alone in her frustration with the fate of the depot. Paul Brown, who doubles as the Mesa County public trustee and chairman of the Friends of the Depot, had the unenviable task of finding another county to handle the foreclosure of the depot whose restoration he had hoped to lead.
We’re pleased to see that Brown has handled his double duty with grace.
Looking ahead, however, we hope that the difficulty encountered by Greenwood, Brown and others who have tried to improve the Grand Junction Depot illustrates the need for a different approach to the southwest corner of the downtown area.
Two Rivers Convention Center sits a stone’s throw from the depot, and the Mesa County Justice Center is also nearby.
Closer yet, however, are some of the city’s most dilapidated buildings and what most assuredly is not an area well suited for modern commercial development.
Grand Junction would do well to give a great deal of thought to making the most again of what was once a center of the town, now city.
An imaginative approach aimed at revitalizing the depot and its surroundings would certainly be welcome.
To do otherwise would be to invite more decades of economic doldrums, which puts Grand Junction’s piece of railroad history in even greater jeopardy than it is now.