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From: "Jim Dent" james DOT dent AT itochu DOT com
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 03:19:33 -0400
Subject: Ashland, WI
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Ashland, WI Daily Press...
Photo: As workers add rear add internal bracing to the now-roofless Soo Line
Depot Thursday, heavy equipment is used to remove debris from the interior
of the building. Demolition work is due to be completed in July, with work
to re-roof the structure and restore its structural integrity set to be
completed by the end of the year. Phase Two, completing the reconstruction
is set to be completed by December 31, 2003.
Depot fundraising on track
Major donations announced
The Daily Press
Last Updated: Friday, June 29th, 2001 10:15:38 AM
With just 33 days left to go to a July 31 deadline to come up with a half
million dollars in local contributions, Ashland Soo Line Depot Restoration
Fund Coordinator James Ogilvie said the project was "moving along nicely"
and has raised $375,000 to date.
Ogilvie made the announcement Thursday at a dinner meeting of Depot
supporters at Ashland's Deep Water Grille. The historic 1900-era
Richardsonian Romanesque-style railroad depot partially burned on April 1,
"This project started on the day of the fire," he said. "Many people who are
here today were there, shedding tears with the rest of us when we saw that
poor building go down. It's still hard to talk about."
However, Ogilvie said the support given the project "shows me that we are
doing the right thing."
He recalled that the committee had launched its drive to restore the Soo
Line Depot on May 2, and that the Depot building and property had been
donated to the Ashland Area Development Corporation by the former owners
Mark and Val Gutteter, who had operated the Depot Restaurant and Railyard
Pub on the premises. He said retaining the Duluth architectural firm of
Stanius Johnson was "one of the best moves we ever made."
Ogilvie noted that the building was currently "rapidly disappearing" as the
process of demolition of the burned interior continues.
He warned that the rebuilding process had not yet begun, and beginning a
theme he was to repeat several times over the course of the evening, he told
the crowd "we need money."
Ogilvie noted the fundraising effort of $500,000 cash and $100,000 in
in-kind donations was needed to match a National Park Service "Save
America's Treasures" matching grant of $499,000
He said during the month of June the committee was working at putting
together Historic Tax Credits for the project, which he said would likely
amount to about $900,000 of the $3.6 million project.
"These pieces of the project for phase one and two are critical for bringing
the project to a positive end," he said.
He said "the magic date" which would mark the completion of the project was
December 31, 2003.
"We will be completed; this project will here, if you don't believe it, you
haven't been paying attention," he said.
He said preparing specifications for Phase One of the project, getting a
roof back on the building, would begin in July. He said demolition and
clean-up would also be completed in July. In August, the process of
preparing the project for bids would take place, with bidding to take place
in September. Construction of the roof is slated to take place in October.
"We are going to put that roof on that building and we are going to be done
by December 31," Ogilvie said. "All we have to do is come up with 1.2
Phase Two starts January first of 2002 Ogilvie said, ending with the
completion of the project on December 31, 2003.
The new Depot building will be a multi-purpose facility, Ogilvie said, a
public and private partnership.
"I can't wait to get to that phase to find out what the end result is going
to be. It's going to be a lot of fun. I need your input and I need your
ideas so that we can make this the best functional facility in Ashland," he
Duluth architect Ken Johnson said the reconstruction of the Depot would be
done with a view to making the new structure as faithful as possible to the
"What we are going to do in this restoration is to try and get it back to
the way it was at the turn of the century, that's our goal," he said. "We
want as authentic a restoration as humanly possible."
Johnson said in the course of reconstruction, modern additions to the
building such as the concrete block elevator shaft on the south side of the
building and the structure housing the old Depot restaurant kitchen would be
removed, recreating the original lines of the building.
"Our intention is to demolish all that stuff, to get that stuff that really
doesn't belong on the building off of it, to do a restoration to the
original character of the building," he said.
Platforms around the building and canopies that existed at the turn of the
century would be recreated, Johnson said. The original roof line and small
dormers that gave the structure much of its character are also to be
A new elevator shaft in the middle of the building's steeple will allow
access to the structure's attic, creating an additional 2,000 square feet of
space in a third floor, Johnson said.
Ogilvie reported that the fundraising drive had to date raised $325,638,
about 65 percent of the goal to be reached by July 31.
"That's the good news. The bad news is we need more money. That comes to
$174,363 in 33 days," he said. "I tell you what. We are going to accomplish
Ogilvie announced that several substantial donations had been made,
including $10,000 from the Superior Community Credit Union and $10,000 from
Deep Water Grille owner Mark Gutteter received a round of applause when he
announced that the Grille would donate 10 percent of their gross sales
during the Month of July to the fundraising drive, and would distribute
cards to customers inviting them to match the donation. Gutteter estimated
that the donation could reach from $10,000 to $15,000, or even more with
The big announcement of the evening came from Ashland Mayor Lowell Miller.
Miller who told the crowd that Rockford, Ill. businessman Curt Carlson had
agreed to donate property in an industrial park valued at at least $100,000
to the drive.
Ogilvie told the group to sell the project to their neighbors, and to
believe the reconstruction of the Depot would become a reality.
"It's easy to sell if you believe in it," he said.