Page 73

RAILROAD HISTORY it was designed to have a distinctive character of its own. It is the state’s only Gothic-style railway station. … The Sandpoint depot has unusual historic significance at present in that it is the only depot in the state of Idaho being used for passenger traffic.” An article appeared in the June 17, 1974, Sandpoint Daily Bee, titled “BN Depot Stalls Highway Bypass”: “Merle Harding, regional director for the state highway department, told local citizens that until or unless the depot is removed, the highway department cannot proceed with its bypass plans. … Bud Moon, president of the Bonner County Historical Society, said his group took no great action in the first place to have the depot placed on the federal register and that it was not a priority item with them. Harding suggested the group try to keep the transportation corridor intact, and that the depot, vintage 1920s, is possibly not that historically significant anyway.” Until 1998, the general consensus

focused on delisting the depot from the National Register and leveling it to make room for the bypass. The fact that the building qualified for a listing as historic made removal problematic. Murmurings of reutilizing the depot for another purpose came to naught. Unfortunately, years of sitting by a busy railway with little regard for upkeep had taken their toll. The once hard-won beauty of Sandpoint fell into disrepair. Her gable ends were removed and vandals absconded with bricks, mirrors and fixtures. In short, she had become an eyesore. In 2009, Amtrak closed the building and planned to abandon the depot, using the $922,000 in bypass mitigation funds provided by the Idaho Transportation Department to build a new rail stop outside of downtown.

Redemption at last Local website designer Aric Spence leapt into action to save the depot, launching www.sandpointtrainsta- to garner public support. He worked with the city’s Historic Preservation Commission and then-city councilwoman (and soon-to-be mayor) Carrie Logan to convince the city to open negotiations with Burlington Northern Santa Fe to restore the depot. After more than a year of negotiations, city officials brokered an agreement in June 2011 to restore the depot. Idagon commenced work in 2014, and the historic depot reopened to shelter Amtrak passengers in May 2015. The outside of the building was restored, essential structural elements were rebuilt and modernized within the walls, and a small waiting room at the south end was refurbished to allow passengers to experience a taste of the station’s former glory. One hundred years on, Sandpoint’s depot remains a vital part of the town. The Sandpoint Historic Preservation Commission is currently developing plans for the depot’s centennial. Find updates at www.

FREE ADMISSION [donations greatly appreciated]

Spring Hours Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm Summer Hours Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm Cafe Memorial through Labor Day from 10 am to 3 pm 325 Bird Ranch Road • Sagle, Idaho 83860 (208) 255-4321 • SUMMER 2016

033-079_SMS16.indd 73



5/10/16 2:36 PM

Profile for Keokee :: media + marketing

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...

Profile for keokee