(Joplin, MO) – Downtown Joplin Alliance (DJA), through their Endangered Properties Program, will host a community roundtable event regarding the future of the Joplin Union Depot on Friday, February 10, 2023, form 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The event will be held at the Chaos Brewing Co. Event Center, located at 112 S. Main Street in Joplin. Light refreshments will be provided.
Small group sessions will be led by educators and students from Kansas State University and South Dakota University to provide input and ideas for the future of this landmark building. All community members are invited to take part and provide feedback on how renovation of the Depot could enhance downtown and improve quality of life within our community.
This session is open to everyone, but space is limited so please RSVP here.
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 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, Downtown Joplin Alliance 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 option, 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 to the Joplin community and to future generations of Missourians. Through this cooperative agreement, Downtown Joplin Alliance has the authority to market and promote the property to local and nationwide audiences to secure a developer.
Downtown Joplin Alliance Executive Director, Lori Haun states, “The Union Depot is such an important structure in this community — it’s literally part of our history — and determining a sustainable, successful path forward for it should have a high level of community input.”
Lori Haun, Executive Director
Downtown Joplin Alliance