City Council steps up to save the train depot for the Q-Block. Let the fundraising begin.

Clark Webster, longtime volunteer with Save the Northfield Depot, stopped by my corner office at the GBM this morning to let me know that the City Council voted last night to sell a chunk of its land on the Q-Block to the group (amount? to be determined).  It also voted to cover up to $11,000 in legal and environmental assessment fees.

The Save the Northfield Depot group doesn’t use a blog, Twitter, or Facebook so we don’t have any official details. Hopefully, A) one or more of Northfield’s media empires will have a story posted soon; and B) the Depot group will figure out that have a living, breathing social media presence is critical to raising public awareness and raising money.

Northfield Q-Block, July 2011 Northfield Q-Block, July 2011
Above: two panoramic views of the Q-Block: Left, from 2nd St, looking SE; right, from Hwy 3, looking west

Future location of the Northfield train depot Future location of the Northfield train depot
Above: two views of the approximate future location for the old train depot (below).

Northfield train depot

Update noon: Some other visuals related to the depot and the Q Block, taken from Pages 1-35 of Part 2 of the council packet for last night’s meeting.

Depot on Q Block - sketch 1 Depot on Q Block - sketch 2

Q Block aerial Q Block owners - map Q Block owners


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld News: Depot restoration project gets green light

    The motion will have the city paying for legal work, surveys and a preliminary environmental assessment for the project, spending up to $11,000 in all, and gives city staffers 30 days to come back to council with a draft transfer of title agreement.

    The city’s attorney, Chris Hood, recommended that the city sell the parcel, located along Third Street on the Q Block behind the Quarterback Club, to the Save the Northfield Depot and suggested the transfer include several conditions to protect the city’s interests.

    July 9, 2011
  2. Lynn Vincent said:

    Just to let you know Save the Northfield Depot does have a Facebook page. We even have a Twitter page! And a way to give electronically, and we are setting up a blog and set it up so we can have the blog seen on the webpage, twitter, and Facebook and GiveMN. We have broken in to the social media scene! Lynn

    July 13, 2011
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Great to hear, Lynn. Can you give us the links to Twitter and Facebook in the meantime while we wait for your Northfield Depot web site to be updated?

    July 13, 2011
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld News: Northfield Roundtable hopes to encourage what could be

    One target, the Q Block, home to the Quarterback Club, seemed ripe for development. But it wasn’t until a session with members of the Save the Northfield Depot that depot group leaders saw the advantage to that site.

    Holland’s Bill Johnson, a land-use planner and landscape architect, who now works with the roundtable, had identified the spot as ideal for a transit hub, something Northfield architect and member of the depot group Steve Edwins sees as serendipitous.

    On that site, Edwins said, the depot will be viewed as a gateway to Northfield. Plans to use the building as a transit hub/visitors center fit perfectly into the roundtable’s vision.

    July 13, 2011
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    There’s some news about the Northfield Depot. But thus far, you wouldn’t know it by following the Northfield Depot on Twitter or checking their website… only Facebook. But you wouldn’t know that they’re using Twitter or Facebook by visiting their website.

    Hey Lynn, consider that a big friendly NUDGE!

    August 23, 2011
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld News: Land sale puts depot restoration into fundraising phase

    After more than a year of discussion, the council unanimously approved an agreement with the organization to sell a small parcel of land to house the city’s historic train depot. Once enough money is raised, organizers plan to move the former train station to the site just north across Third Street behind the Quarterback Club, renovate the 1888 structure and use it for a community center and possibly a transit hub.

    March 23, 2012
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Today’s Strib: Northfield tries to save its 1888 train depot

    Northfield’s last standing railroad depot, built in 1888, has apparently escaped demolition again and may wind up as part of a visitor’s center and bus transit hub in the former railroad town.

    December 5, 2012
  8. rob hardy said:

    I’ve published a new “Local Issues” post on on the transit hub issue. The post gathers news stories, documents, and websites related to the issue, and give a timeline of the issue going back to the Rice County transit study of 2001.

    December 5, 2012

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