Cudahy Historical Society Seeks Landmark Status for Depot

Feb. 10, 2013

A contingent of Cudahy citizens, including Mayor Tony Day, has made plans to journey to the state capitol on February 15 in hopes of getting the old Cudahy Depot placed on the State Register of Historic Places.

A PowerPoint presentation has been prepared by a consultant hired by the Society and will be presented to a nominating committee as a first step towards being placed on the register. If approved, the state will then submit another nomination for the depot to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides the obvious honor, it may also make the depot eligible to get grants for maintenance or for the society to continue its mission.

The effort is being spearheaded by immediate past president Cherri Nadolny who has worked very hard on this project and was successful in getting funds from an anonymous donor to pay for the consultant. The society hopes the state will issue its certificate on the 15th, while getting on the national registry could take up to a year. As far as anyone knows, this depot would become the first building in the city to receive landmark status.

Built in the Queen Anne/Victorian style, the 1892 Cudahy Chicago & North Western Railway Depot (Cudahy Depot) on south Kinnickinnic Avenue near Layton is centrally located in the City of Cudahy. The Patrick Cudahy meat processing plant is located a few blocks to the south. Although the building no longer functions as a railway depot, railroad tracks to the west of the building are owned by Union Pacific Railroad and are still in use. In conjunction with Cudahy’s 2006 centennial, the Cudahy Historical Society and the city worked together to create Immigrant Family Park located just to the south of the depot.

Although once a common site around the country, turn-of-the-last century wooden depots like Cudahy’s that are still standing are now hard to find. According to lore, the building plans for the depot were available to many other railroads and proved very popular. A close copy in Des Plaines, IL, was leveled a few years ago.

A similar fate was in store for Cudahy’s as the building slowly fell into disrepair after the last passenger trains went through. In 1977, the society acquired the building from Union Pacific Railroad and land from the city. Through fundraising and volunteer efforts, society members worked very hard to restore and rehabilitate the depot. That dedication and determination continues through to the present day as volunteers strive to maintain it in excellent condition for future generations.

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