Discussing Ways To Save Moline's Railroad Depot - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Discussing Ways To Save Moline's Railroad Depot

Updated: Oct 4, 2012 10:31 PM CDT
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An effort to save the old railroad depot in Moline is on the fast track. The depot has to be demolished or moved to make way for the new I-74 bridge. City council is planning on selling the depot to the Illinois Department of Transportation and that has the Historic Preservation Society worried they may not be able to save it.

The Moline Historic Preservation Society held a meeting to work on coming up with ideas to save the railroad depot. They're working fast, using strategies like handing out stickers, because time is ticking away.

"Every day counts, every minute counts," says Diane Moore, President of the Moline Preservation Society.

The Moline Railroad Depot is a historic landmark, but time isn't on the 112 year old buildings side.

"Once it's sold to I-DOT we feel it's out of our hands and the chances for demolition are extremely good," says Barbara Sandberg, Chair of the Moline Preservation Commission.

At Thursday night's meeting the preservation society discussed how to work with aldermen to get Tuesday's final vote delayed.

"The strategy right now is to convince the council that we are just starting out and getting a great momentum from the public," adds Sandberg, "However, we need time and time is what we have to ask for."

The preservation society is asking for 2 months to raise the $155,000 needed to move the depot to the WIU Quad Cities riverfront campus.

 "It is a short amount of time to raise this much funding," says Sandberg.

Around $24,000 has been pledged. Money has been committed from the I-DOT and the University to help with moving costs. If council approves an extension, finding funding will be on the fast track.

"After Tuesday we can have a bigger push going towards corporations and businesses," adds Moore.

The preservation society has also talked about using their website and Facebook to gather pledges. They say they don't want to loose a piece of history that has stood the test of time.

"It's our last depot, it was a tragedy that we lost Moline's oldest house," says Moore, "We certainly don't want to loose our only depot."

City leaders are selling the depot instead of paying to move it, because of the high cost.  Aldermen say public dollars would have to pay for the entire project. The city is selling the depot to I-DOT for more than $140,000, but that money has to go towards the tourism fund.