Depots redefined : an analysis of rehabilitating historic railroad depots in Indiana

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Shrack, Ryan W.
Parker, Francis H. (Francis Haywood), 1938-
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Thesis (M.S.H.P.)
Department of Architecture
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The railroad depot has played an integral role in countless towns and cities throughout the state of Indiana and in other regions of the nation. In many communities, the depot served as the local newsstand, post office, and social gathering place. A community’s railroad depot was a symbol of pride, which was evident by the significant level of architectural detail found in these transportation edifices. Over the course of the past fifty years, a vast majority of these architectural gems have fallen into disrepair, or worse, been demolished because it was believed that the depot could no longer fulfill a viable role in a post-railroad oriented society. There have been multiple efforts to rehabilitate the railroad depot by both the private and public sectors. Although many efforts have been made, there are still numerous historic depots throughout Indiana that are in need of assistance and in danger of being razed. Therefore, this thesis investigates the role of the depot in Indiana towns and cities today by looking at different rehabilitation projects that have successfully saved the railroad depot and transformed it once again into an active member of the local community.