The Old Depot to Become Murphysboro Main Street Headquarters and Welcome Center
MURPHYSBORO – Murphysboro Main Street has acquired the historic property located at 1701 Walnut Street, locally known as the Old Depot.
The property was generously gifted to Murphysboro Main Street by Alison and Steve Carter of Southern Illinois.
“I’m so excited to see this group take the project and restore the building to its previous prominence,” said Carter. “I am a believer that you have to restore things in order to support the future. This should make a big impact on the City of Murphysboro. I’m confident that the building is in really great hands.”
Following extensive restoration, the building will become a central welcome center for the city, in addition to housing a Murphysboro Main Street office.
Built in 1888, the depot is the former Mobile
and Ohio Railroad station, the largest on the
Mobile and Ohio line between St. Louis,
Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois. After 90 years
of continuous operation, the depot closed in
December 1977 when the railway became
part of the Illinois Central system. The depot
was placed on the National Register of
Historic Places in 1984.
“This generous gift will allow us to thoughtfully restore and preserve the character of the depot. Our goal is to pay homage to the history of the railroad in Murphysboro while looking forward as we breathe new life into the building and transform it into a central welcoming point in our town,” said Jamie Green, chair of Murphysboro Main Street. “We’re deeply grateful to the Carters for entrusting us with the stewardship of the depot.”
Murphysboro Main Street is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, community-funded volunteer group, working to promote the historical preservation, protection, and use of Murphysboro's commercial, civic, and religious enterprises and residences along the historic main thoroughfare. Their goal is the further development and promotion of culture, architecture, and public use of Murphysboro's traditional downtown corridor.
Local philanthropist and business owner Paula Maloney will serve as chair of the Old Depot Restoration project.
“The restored depot will become a crown jewel on Walnut Street,” said Maloney. "We’re honored to accept this gracious gift and we’re up to the challenge of raising the funds necessary for the building’s transformation.”
Fundraising efforts will kick off in March. The committee is writing grant proposals and requesting support from the private and corporate sectors. To donate online, click here paypal.me/MainStreet62966 or send a check, payable to Murphysboro Main Street, to Murphysboro Main Street, PO Box 1623, Murphysboro, IL 62966.