MARP meets Jan. 10, 2015 at REO Town Depot in Lansing

MARP Member Meeting
Sat., Jan. 10, 2015
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Former GTW Depot, now the REO Town Depot
Lansing Board of Water & Light
1205 S. Washington Ave
Lansing MI 48910

Map & Directions

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero delivered his 2013 State of the City address in the newly restored Grand Trunk Western depot adjacent to BWL's new REO Town power plant. / Courtesy photo
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero delivered his 2013 State of the City address in the newly restored Grand Trunk Western depot adjacent to BWL’s new REO Town power plant. / Courtesy photo

MARP’s first meeting of the New Year promises to be a memorable one. Bob Johnston, well-known to us for his interesting articles in TRAINS Magazine will be our very special speaker. We expect to hear his insights on such Midwest  issues as the Hoosier state, the South-of-the-Lake project, and the possibility of Talgo trains in Michigan, as well as thoughts on the future of Amtrak’s long distance trains. Bob also promises a special “surprise” for us.

The meeting will take place at the historic Grand Trunk Western Railway Station in Lansing. Built in 1902, this classic Spier & Rohn-designed building hasn’t seen service as a passenger station since 1971 and was 4 years into its life as a restaurant when Gerald Ford dropped by for lunch during a whistle stop campaign tour in 1976.

The building has been painstakingly restored in conjunction with the development of the new Lansing Board of Water & Light cogeneration plant with which it shares the 5.3 acre site in the area known as REO Town. The depot is listed on the State Register of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.

The BWL spent more than $2.8 million restoring the depot to serve as the home for board meetings and employee training. From its terra cotta roof to the dark wood ceiling, period light fixtures, windows, walls and wainscoting, the restoration has been described as “stunning”.

Two design firms, Ann Arbor’s Quinn Evans and Cornerstone of Grand Rapids, shared the design work on the restoration. Two Lansing-based companies, Granger Construction and Christman Co., did the exterior and interior work, respectively.

The eye-catching terra cotta roof involved a bit of serendipity. The tiles were 110 years old and needed to be replaced. The original manufacturer — Ludowici Roof Tile Co. of New Lexington, Ohio, a 120-year-old company with roots in Renaissance Rome and still in business — had the original plans for the depot and produced 14,600 new tiles to the original specifications.

Following the meeting, please plan to socialize over lunch at Clara’s Lansing Station, another of Lansing’s historic railway stations, at 637 East Michigan.

Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers