The Wisconsin Historical Society placed Cudahy’s Chicago and North Western Railway Depot (the home of the Cudahy Historical Society) on the State Register of Historic Places. State Historic Preservation Officer Michael Stevens presented a certificate to Cudahy Mayor Tony Day and four members of the society: Dan Vnuk, Cherri Nadolny, Charlene Peltier, and Sal Maresh, all of whom traveled to Madison to receive the honor.
The depot was accepted into the Wisconsin Historical Society's registry on February 15, 2013, following a presentation and application before the Architectural commission and the Historical commission to have it designated as a historical landmark. The Wisconsin Historical Society voted unanimously in favor of the nomination. The Cudahy Historical Society received their signed designation and will also be listed in the National Historical registry.
A PowerPoint presentation was prepared by a consultant hired by the Society to research the depot’s past as well as architectural and historical significance. Now that it’s been 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. As far as anyone knows, the depot is the first building in the city to receive landmark status.
Built in 1892, the depot on south Kinnickinnic Avenue near Layton is centrally located in the City of Cudahy. 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. As Mayor Day pointed out to the commission members, the depot was the scene of many reunions of family members who came from foreign lands to join those who came earlier to find work and prosperity in their newly adopted country. In 1977, the society acquired the building from Union Pacific Railroad and the 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. Congratulations are in order for the Cudahy Historical Society's recent award and registry designation of our Cudahy Depot.
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