Green River Star -

By David Martin

Depot garners more interest


October 3, 2018

While the interior is almost completely gutted, residents still lined up for a tour of the Union Pacific Depot building Saturday.

The tours gave visitors a chance to look a portions of a building previously closed off for the past several years. It also gave the city a chance to give residents a glimpse at the future of the depot.

“It would be nice to see our historic sites up and running,” Jessica Robidoux, one of the many people touring the building said.

Other visitors also voiced support for the work and grant money the city has spent in dealing with asbestos and other problems the building has.

The depot building was completed in 1910, bringing economic development to the growing railroad town. Many of the town’s leaders had previously petitioned the Union Pacific Railroad to bring a depot to the area, with an April 1909 edition of the Green River Star printing “We have a commodious Court House, a handsome Carnegie Library, a newly constructed Union Pacific Club House, and the promise of a federal post office building… if the Union Pacific will at an early date construct a suitable railroad station it will be a substantial proof that they are interested in the improvement of Green River...”

In the following decades, the crows nest would be added and the building would ultimately be renovated to house U.P. offices.

“The brick work is cool,” Joshua Peterson, a railroad employee said while looking through the building. Peterson said he agrees with the idea of using the space to attract commercial businesses to Green River. According to City Administrator Reed Clevenger, some interest in the building has already developed.

“I have talked to a number of businesses interested in it,” he said.

Clevenger said the city has completed the terms of its five-year lease on the building. Now, the city will seek a longer, 99-year lease on the depot. Clevenger said some discussion has taken place about the possibility of moving a brewery into the building, placing a brick-oven pizza parlor inside or using some of the space as a community center.

While any use of the building is still far in the future, Clevenger said the city plans to seek a $3 million Community Readiness Grant from the Wyoming Business Council to continue renovation work. The grant won’t completely pay for the depot’s restoration and will require a 10 percent match from the city, which has already been budgeted, but Clevenger said the money would go to renovating key aspects of the building to facilitate commercial use of the space. After that work is completed, Clevenger said the next step would be to apply for a $3 million WBC Business Readiness Grant, also at a 10 percent match, but said the city might not be the ones footing the $300,000 match if businesses develop plans to utilize the space.


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