Preservation Magazine, Spring 2016

Transitions: Restored—Sandpoint Amtrak Depot

In each Transitions section of Preservation magazine, we highlight places of local and national importance that have recently been restored, are currently threatened, have been saved from demolition or neglect, or have been lost. Here's one from Spring 2016.

Grand reopening of the Sandpoint Amtrak Depot in Sandpoint, Idaho

photo by: Aric Spence/Spence Design

The restoration of Sandpoint's Amtrak Depot used $926,000 in mitigation funds from the Idaho Transportation Department.

Decades of deferred maintenance had left the Sandpoint Amtrak Depot, one of the oldest buildings in Sandpoint, Idaho, in deteriorating condition. The roof was leaking, and the bricks on the circa 1916 structure’s east side were loose.

Amtrak’s 2008 proposal to build a new stop 8 miles south, as well as an Idaho Transportation Department plan to construct a bypass that would interfere with rail access to the depot, threatened the station’s continued viability. In 2009 the interior of the building was closed to the public, leaving just the platform for use as the only Amtrak stop in Idaho.

After it became clear that the community wanted to see the depot saved, the city of Sandpoint, station owner Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, and Amtrak negotiated a plan to repair the structure, using $926,000 in mitigation funds from the Idaho Transportation Department.

The project, which was completed in May 2015, included exterior stabilization, a new roof with green tiles similar in color and shape to the originals, and a refurbished waiting area.

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.

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