A structural engineer who recently assessed the Joplin Union Depot in Joplin, Missouri, reported that the bones of the long-abandoned building are good.
According to the Joplin Globe, Lori Haun, director of the Joplin Downtown Alliance, told the city council the engineer who specializes in restoring historic properties “felt very confident it could be rehabilitated.”
A $5,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation paid for the engineer’s assessment. The downtown alliance and a local commercial real estate firm are working to find someone to redevelop the building.
Haun previously said the engineer may also be able to provide some architectural renderings based on findings. The grant will fund the engineer’s cost entirely, she said.
The engineering report could be significant in attracting redevelopment of the building because it gives interested parties information that may reduce uncertainty about whether a project could be successful.
In addition, the DJA has applied for brownfield tax credits that could help private investment in the cleanup and rehab of the building.
The depot, built 110 years ago, has been vacant for more than 50 years.
Joplin Union Depot is off North Main Street (aka bypass Route 66 from the 1930s to 1955) and West A Street on the city’s north side. The Broadway alignment of Route 66 also runs just south of the property.
(Image of Joplin Union Depot in Joplin, Missouri, by Jill Sullivan, courtesy of Missouri Preservation)