Save the Northfield Depot envisions a partnership of organizations and individuals collaborating to preserve the depot for use by community members and visitors to Northfield. The project consists of six key phases.
Phase I: Depot Destruction Plan Halted (2008 – March 2010)
In early 2008, Northfield-in-Bloom (NIB) encouraged the City to negotiate with Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR) to forgo plans to burn the building and sell the depot to the City for $1 with the condition that it be moved from railroad property. Save the Northfield Depot was incorporated and established as a 501(c)(3) with the purpose of saving, restoring, and reusing the depot building for the benefit of the community.
Phase II: Site and Use Selection (April 2010)
Save the Northfield Depot held several public meetings and focus groups were held to determine public interest and to explore potential sites and uses. A set of criteria (.pdf file) lead to identification of the most favored site, the Q-Block, while the most favored use as a multi-use combination of visitor’s center, commercial business, and transportation hub.
Phase III: Site Planning (May 2010 – February 2011)
Save the Northfield Depot board of directors attended a community planning session hosted by another organization which produced a framework plan for the Q-block that contained the depot. Save the Northfield Depot held a design workshop in November 2010 attended by 84 stakeholders and architects.
Historic preservation and community planning expert, John Lauber, facilitated the daylong workshop. Building site options (.pdf) were drafted by teams of architects based on the input from the stakeholders, providing enough detail for final architectural and construction drawings.
Phase IV: Land Agreement with City (March 2011 – April 2012)
In March 2011, Save the Northfield Depot presented a detailed proposal to the City Council requesting the transfer of city-owned property on the Q-block for the location of the depot building. As directed by the City Council, staff has drafted a legal contract with the City for the land transfer. The City Council approved the contract on March 20, 2012.
Phase V: Fundraising and Move (March 2012 – January 2016)
Save the Northfield Depot has a campaign goal of $730,000 for the total project: rehabilitated depot for use, attached pavilion, and adjacent sculpture garden.
During this phase, Save the Northfield Depot raised $228,500, an amount required by the City before the City owned land could be transferred for the future site of the depot. The Bill of Sale for the land was signed on October 2, 2016.
Work began immediately to prepare the site and the depot for the move. The 1944 addition that could not be moved was separated from the depot; bricks and limestone from the addition were salvaged for the new site. The depot was prepared for the move, which took place on January 6, 2016 (see videos below). Once the depot was off of the railroad land, it was owned by Save the Northfield Depot.
Phase VI: Fundraising and Renovation (January 2016 – present)
Initial repairs needed for securing the depot and presenting an attractive exterior will be completed immediately; the more extensive exterior repairs and interior rehabilitation will be completed as funding becomes available and volunteers are willing to contribute time and services to the project. The scope of the interior renovation will be determined by the owner and tenant(s) of the space. Parking, driveway, and sidewalks will be completed before occupancy.
After occupancy, the remainder of the complex (pavilion and sculpture garden) will be completed. The Transit Hub is a City project.