Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Wysor Street Depot Restoration

Depot Cheslik

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Wysor Street Depot Restoration

The Wysor Street Depot at 700 E Wysor St in Muncie, IN, headquarters of the Cardinal Greenway sixty-two trail, will celebrate its TWENTIETH RESTORATION ANNIVERSARY in 2024. The Depot was originally built in 1901 by the Cincinnati, Richmond, and Muncie railroad line to attract passengers to travel on trains. It is an example of Victorian Queen Anne style with wide white oak woodwork, maple floors, granite walls and marble fixtures. The depot was supposed to be the finest and most modern structure of its kind ever built by a railroad company in Indiana. Architect William A. Kaufman of Richmond, IN designed the depot and Locke and Hill of Richmond, IN built the depot at a cost of $15,000.

Passenger service was discontinued in 1949, and the depot was leased to Muncie Gear Works for office space.

Chessie Systems acquired the Wysor Street Depot in 1973 and began servicing Amtrak passengers on the Cardinal. The passengers bought tickets on the outside platform as the depot was not open to passengers.

The Cardinal Amtrak train was rerouted in 1985, and the Wysor Street Depot was abandoned. It fell into disrepair with no hope until it was put on National Registry of Historic Sites in 1997.  Earlier in 1993, Delaware Greenways, Inc., (now Cardinal Greenway, Inc.) purchased 60 miles of railroad from the CSX Transportation Corp. to develop a rails-to-trails. The first ten miles of trail opened in 1999 from the aging depot to CR532 in Delaware County. With the trail building now underway, Steve Varner, Director of the then Delaware Greenways, Inc. and others became interested in restoring the Wysor Street Depot as headquarters of the Greenway if possible. The building would be demolished if it could not be restored to some of its former glory!

There are too many details concerning inspections and funding conversations to discuss in this article. Finally, it was decided the depot could be saved! Michael Ellis, a local Muncie architect, designed the restoration, and Gale Tschuor of Yorktown, IN was awarded the renovation contract in late 2002 with a bid of $860,841. Reconstruction began in April 2003 to be completed by December 2003.

The expensive clay tiles for the depot’s roof and its eight dormers, costing about $100,000, were donated by Ludowici Rooftile of New Lexington, Ohio. Ludowici was owned by Saint-Gobain of Muncie, IN. This donation really helped with the cost of the restoration.

The Wysor Street Depot had its grand opening on National Trails Day, June 5, 2004, with a parade and many other celebratory activities. If interested, all the details of the depot restoration and history of our sixty-two-mile trail building can be viewed in the Wysor Street Depot, 700 E. Wysor St., Muncie, IN.