[Source: Walter Mares, Copper Era] — It was history on top of history, and the capacity crowd at the Arizona & New Mexico Railway Station in Clifton loved it, perhaps because they were part of history in the making. It may also be that they had the opportunity to meet Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano up close and personal. She was swarmed by the standing-room-only crowd after the train station ceremony in which she designated the train station and two early 1900s baby gauge steam locomotives as “Arizona treasures.”
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Eastern Arizona Courier.]
[Source: Harold Kitching, Casa Grande Valley Newspaper] — Casa Grande has approved its part of a $35 million, four-government agreement that provides help from Union Pacific Railroad with new crossings needed for double-tracking between Yuma and Tucson. In return for not opposing the railroad’s double-tracking during hearings by the Arizona Corporation Commission, Casa Grande will receive money toward improvements, including encasing its water pipes near Anderson Road, and will be given the old railroad depot building on Main Street. No money comes with the historic depot, long eyed for preservation.
The agreement says the city and railroad “shall negotiate in good faith” for removing the depot from UP’s right of way within a reasonable time, at city expense. It adds that “from and after donation to the city, the city shall fence off the depot as reasonably requested by UPRR and shall be solely responsible for all future maintenance and upkeep of the depot and fencing.” Out of the $35 million, Casa Grande and the city of Maricopa will be given $1.5 million each for initial design and engineering for the first two overpasses to cross the double-tracking out of the four eventual crossings required in the agreement.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Steven King, Casa Grande Valley Newspaper.]
[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] — Hotel Congress owner Richard Oseran may get the City Council go-ahead Tuesday to open a market in the lobby of the Historic Depot across from his hotel. The council will consider an amendment that would add the lobby and trackside platform to the eight-year lease Oseran already has for the restaurant space at the east end of the city-owned depot, 400 E. Toole Ave. The lease calls for Maynards’ Kitchen and Maynards’ Market to open by Oct. 1, and Oseran hopes to have them open in late summer or early fall.
Oseran will start paying a $2,400 annual lease Sept. 1 for the lobby and platform, but the restaurant will be lease-free until May 2011, according to the lease Oseran negotiated with the city in October. Oseran’s lobby market proposal passed muster with city, state and federal historic preservation guidelines, but Friends of the Historic Depot in February let the Tucson-Pima Historical Commission know they disapproved of filling waiting room space with a market. The council will discuss the lease amendment at a 3:30 p.m. study session, and will likely approve it with no discussion at the 5:30 p.m. council meeting, where the depot item is on consent agenda. Both sessions are in the Council Chambers, 255 W. Alameda St. [Photo source: Tucson Historic Depot.]