2023 Winter Progress Update

The 2022 year has been busy in a new way! The transition from a focus on “renovation” to “sharing and using by the community” is extremely gratifying. Below is an update on some of the activity – notably missing are images of construction work!


Exciting news! The Fall 2022 Give to the Max $15,000 matching grant fund drive was successful! The contributions made during the fund drive plus the pledged dollar-for-dollar matching funds from anonymous donors totaled $30,347. Due to this generosity of the community, the size of the $60,000 loan remaining after the cease of fundraising during COVID was halved! Thank you donors!


As predicted and as consistent with one of the goals, the depot site has become a popular venue for a variety of community events – including historical tours, meetings of organizations, holiday markets, musical groups (touring and local), holiday gatherings of non-profits, baby shower, and dance recital (see images below). During the summer months, many strolled through the pleasant, relaxing garden area enjoying the sculptures and plantings, and often took advantage of the several benches. The completion of the City’s pavilion and transit hub will complement and enhance the uses for the depot.

The recent addition of the History of Northfield Railroads exhibit on both floors of the depot has created much interest in those attending the events. The exhibit was created for the 2012 exhibit at the Northfield Historical Society.

Future Plans

  • Add amenities. Earlier this year, groups had to rent chairs and/or tables from outside sources if needed. One organization had to bring in wi-fi equipment for access to the web. Chairs were purchased this fall with ear-marked donations, and the station master desk serves several purposes: a buffet (see above), a table for the event programs, or a sales table for musical recordings. This past week we responded to the needs indicated by groups and used some of the recently donated funds to purchase four tables, a “hot spot” for web access, and a portable monitor for presentations. All were used just last weekend for a staff meeting. Bike racks, an exterior amenity, were donated last fall and will be installed once the City has completed the construction of the pavilion and transit hub.
  • Advertise availability. To date, the availability for rental has been solely through word of mouth. Early in 2023, we hope to finalize a liability insurance policy which will clarify our operational costs and enable us to create a price list for the announcement of the depot rental availability.
  • Collaborate in construction of pavilion and transit hub. Plans of the City of Northfield for the construction of an adjacent pavilion and transit hub are under way; a contractor has been hired and construction will start this spring. Save the Northfield Depot has a representative on the City’s planning committee to address the compatibility of the architectural features of the new buildings, and to coordinate depot activity with the City’s work schedule.
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