KEOKUK, Iowa — The first phase of a project to restore the roof of a historic train depot in Keokuk is underway.

The restoration project on the Keokuk Union Depot began Wednesday, The Hawk Eye (http://bit.ly/2bFHDPq ) reports. The depot was built in 1891, and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It’s served as an event and concert venue for several years.

A 26-foot apex was placed onto the base of the building’s central tower. Red clay tiles will now be placed on the central tower, and crews will build four corner turrets and two dormers to replicate the building’s original design. Once completed, the tower will be 70 feet tall.

The project’s final phase calls for attaching copper ornaments to the turrets and towers, and topping it with a lightning rod, which is estimated to be completed by the end of October.

The depot is trying to raise $667,000 to match a $333,000 challenge grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation in Janesville, Wisconsin. The foundation was established to preserve and restore structures of historic and architectural value in the Midwest.

Keokuk Union Depot Foundation president Janet Smith said they are about $21,000 short of matching the grant. They have until next September to gather the funds.

About $1 million will be available to spend on the project once fundraising is complete.

“It’s very exciting, and the community is really getting more and more excited about the project as they see things like this happening. That was a really major piece,” Smith said.


Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com