Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

June 12, 2014

Mayor sees bright future for old rail depot

Building could serve multiple purposes in the future

Mayor Greg Goodnight sees the one of the most intriguing pieces of Kokomo’s past in the downtown area as one of the keys to its future.

Goodnight hosted his quarterly Mayor’s Night Out inside the historic railroad depot on North Buckeye Street Wednesday, giving many their first look inside the building while also providing them with an opportunity to discuss their concerns.

While there hasn’t been much activity inside the building, which was constructed around 1910, Goodnight said plenty have offered input about what its future use should be.

“I have had a lot of input from people in the community,” he said. “They think this is an asset for Kokomo, especially people who are advocates for historical preservation.

“We’re just entertaining ideas right now,” he said. “There are no immediate plans, we’re just making sure it’s repurposed and that we get the best use out of it.”

The depot, which is located between Jefferson and Jackson streets, was purchased by the city for $45,000 in March from the Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis.

Future uses for the space could range from office spaces to a community space. Goodnight said the size of the depot could allow it to serve more than one purpose.

“It’s large enough that I think it could house more than one [entity], whether it be a community room and private businesses or some offices. I think it’s big enough to house more than one thing.”

Goodnight also has considered connecting the depot with an existing locomotive car, which would create other opportunities for the space.

“We’ve also had discussions about possibly expanding this to an existing passenger car or dining car along the tracks so that it would be an extension of the depot,” he said. “It could even be a boxcar or a caboose, or something permanently part of the depot complex.”

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