(Joplin, MO) – Downtown Joplin Alliance (DJA), through their Endangered Properties Program, announced a new partnership with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (MoDNR) State Historic Preservation Office and The Glenn Group, a Joplin-based firm that specializes in commercial real estate, to secure a future for Joplin’s Union Depot.
Joplin Union Depot was designed by Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss — who is often referred to as “the Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City” — and was built by the Manhattan Construction Company of New York. It opened in 1911 and was in service until its closure in 1969. The Department of Natural Resources gained ownership of the Depot through the Historic Preservation Revolving Fund in the 1990s after an unsuccessful rehabilitation. While various entities have expressed interest in acquiring the property since then, these inquiries have not generated a financially capable purchaser. This DJA-MoDNR partnership is an opportunity for the Depot to benefit from DJA’s expertise and resources to enhance its marketability and make progress toward finding a preservation-minded purchaser.
In 2020, DJA established their Endangered Properties Program, a revolving fund specifically for intervening in historic properties with questionable futures. These funds, while generally not enough to pay for an entire project, allow the Endangered Properties Program Committee to take control of a property through donation or other options, then seek developers for the property through marketing, feasibility studies, structural assessments, and other needs specific to a particular building.
The Joplin Union Depot is important culturally, historically, and architecturally, and returning it to productive use would be mutually beneficial for the Joplin community and for future generations of Missourians. Through this cooperative agreement, DJA has the authority to market and promote the property to local and nationwide audiences to secure a developer.
DJA Executive Director, Lori Haun, states, “We are thrilled to be able to use our Endangered Properties Program as a tool to help reach prospective developers for the Depot. This building is a well-loved and iconic piece of Joplin’s history and we look forward to it being part of our growing downtown community once again.”
About Downtown Joplin Alliance:
The Downtown Joplin Alliance is 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the downtown community as a thriving, safe and attractive center of art, history, enterprise, commerce, culture, residence, and entertainment. For more information, email email@example.com. Learn more about the Downtown Joplin Alliance at downtownjoplin.com.
Lori Haun, Executive Director
Downtown Joplin Alliance