Progress Update, Summer 2022

As reported in our 2021 Annual Report few projects had yet to be completed, but we wanted to update you on the progress since the report, and to let you know about a music event next Sunday.

Events and Use

Since an occupancy permit was obtained last fall, the depot has hosted Mercado markets, and several meetings both large and small. Next Sunday, Aug. 7, will be the first of what we hope will be many musical events. The event with well known country music artists with several albums is free and open to the public with suggested donation to the bands of $10-$20.

What: Concert featuring Izaak Opatz with special guest Eliza Edens (see official event details)
When: Sunday, Aug. 7 (Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for 7 p.m. show )
Where: Northfield Depot

Given the current project focus on use of the depot for community events and meetings, the board has shifted some of their time from restoration to administration (e.g., preparing an official rental agreement, identifying an appropriate liability insurance policy, etc.).


The most recent major completion was the water feature in the middle of the circular garden plaza. The fountain incorporates three of the four bollards from the 1886 2nd street bridge, which was removed in 1973. Limestone from the original depot foundation was used for the surrounding wall. Volunteer engineers designed and installed the complex system. The feature will soon be turned on with a timer.

sculpture garden and water feature with Northfield Depot behind
The image and sounds of the water flowing down the bollards, and the surrounding garden with plants and sculptures create a very peaceful, pleasant site; the benches are very popular (watch video below).


The Depot exterior originally contained NORTHFIELD roof signs on both the north and south sides. The two signs were replicated late last fall but only the south sign was installed. This summer, the north roof sign was added.

historical photo of the Northfield depot from the north
volunteers install the NORTHFIELD sign on the north roof line of the depot
The two NORTHFIELD signs were replicated using archival photos including this image of the sign on the north roof.

The only surviving depot furniture was the 1944 damaged station master desk which has been repaired and cleaned by a volunteer.

refinished original desk
The faces of the drawers display various decals: The Milwaukee Road, Rock Island, Pullman, and Western Union.

Transit Hub and Pavilion

After completing the necessary paperwork for the state funding, the City recently held a pre-proposal meeting that included a visit to the site for architects interested in designing the Transit Hub and Pavilion; 14 architects attended. The city has indicated that the proposals were due last month and design work will start this fall. A representative of Save the Northfield Depot will participate in the review of the proposals.

State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

As reported in the 2021 Annual Report, SHPO’s review of the project for historic designation indicated that the depot was “meticulously rehabilitated.” In September, two members of Save the Northfield Depot Board of Directors will be making a presentation about the depot project at the Preserve Minnesota Conference in Duluth. The presentation is appropriately titled “It Takes a Village to Save a Depot.” Thank you to all villagers, near and far, who have made it possible.

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