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1/24/2012 10:37:00 PM
Depot scheduled for February demolition
DUE TO ITS continued deterioration, the Union Pacific Railroad let bids for the demolition of Wilmington’s depot. Prep work is scheduled to begin Feb. 6, with demolition a couple days later.
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DUE TO ITS continued deterioration, the Union Pacific Railroad let bids for the demolition of Wilmington’s depot. Prep work is scheduled to begin Feb. 6, with demolition a couple days later.
Staff report

The end of the line for Wilmington's historic railroad depot is fast approaching.

Mark Davis, the Union Pacific Railroad director of corporate relations and media for the Northern Region, said Tuesday the contract for demolition of the 143-year-old structure has been awarded to American Demolition Corporation, based in Elgin. Work will begin early next month.

The Wilmington depot is thought to be one of the oldest in the state still on its original foundation. The 1,400-square-foot depot was built between fall 1868 and spring 1869 by the Chicago, Alton & Mississippi Railroad, probably from brick made in a yard near the intersection of South Water and Fulton streets.

It was used for commuter travel, as a mail drop and for freight transportation until it was decommissioned in 1972.

A 14-year grassroots effort to save the structure failed; a proffered lease agreement could not be finalized, reportedly due to the anticipated construction of a high-speed rail line on the track through Wilmington next year. The railroad determined the building's deteriorating condition as a safety concern that had to be addressed and let the bid for demolition.

According to Davis, American Demolition is scheduled to spend three days doing work to prepare the site for demolition, beginning Feb. 6. The actual demolition is slated to take three more days. Site cleanup and grading will complete the project.

At a December preconstruction meeting with contractors interested in bidding on the job, a UP representative said the building would be down by the end of the first quarter of the year. Demolition bids were due Dec. 20.

Davis was unable to provide the price on the winning bid.

Warren Collison

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2012
Article comment by: Michael Hahn

People in the small towns need to band together to save some of the last things we have from the days of old. They are disappearing one by one and they can not be replaced. The depot was a part our history and now it is now gone in the name of progress. Last year the depot in Chenoa, Il. was rased. Had no use for it anymore. Progress (The High Speed Trian) that none of us between Chicago and Springfield will have a use for. In Dwight, Il. the downtown is going to be restructured to accommodate The High Speed Train. Given away by our Village Trustees for a couple of asphalt streets. People need to pay attention to what is happening. Band together before it is to late.

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: KM

That the station survied this long is a testament to the good folks of Wilmington. Every time I passed it I expected to find it had been torched. Too bad it could not have been saved.

Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Article comment by: JC

I remember this Train Depot going by it daily because I lived in Northcrest at the time as a kid. It was, it is, and always will be a Wilmington icon. I will miss the depot dearly, its a part of Wilmington you cannot replace. RIP Train Depot, you have seen a lot in your lifetime. You will be missed.

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