This impressive reddish-brown brick former depot with a red tile roof sprawls at the lower end of Mena’s main street and, along with the adjacent Janssen Park (PL1), serves as a focal point of downtown. Designed by a railroad architect and constructed by contractor George W. Goodlander of Kansas, it replaced the first wooden depot of 1897 for the Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Gulf Railroad. Many of the state’s railroad depots, especially those of the Missouri Pacific, are Mediterranean in style, with low tile roofs and broad, bracketed overhanging eaves, but this is a remarkably large and elaborate version. Each of the long sides features a central projecting clipped gable framed by piers with cast-stone capitals that pierce the roof and reappear at the corners of each bay. The eaves with robust curved brackets are especially spacious. On the building’s shady east end the roof extends to form an open-air waiting room with built-in concrete benches. In 1987 the City purchased the depot, and in an energetic spirit of cooperation, local citizenry rehabilitated it entirely through public donations of money, labor, and materials. The well-preserved interior houses the Chamber of Commerce, collections of railroad memorabilia, and a municipal art gallery.
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Mena Depot Center (Kansas City Southern Depot)
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