Just the Ticket
In 2015, Marion’s P.C.C. & St.L. (Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis) Train Depot looked like it had reached the end of the line. After years of declining use and deferred maintenance, the once-elegant structure stood vacant, in need of a new owner. Luckily, a local group with a proven preservation track record saw the landmark’s potential and stepped in to reimagine it.
Built at the height of train travel, the 2,208-square-foot depot offered city officials a chance to show community pride with a stylish structure designed to impress arriving passengers. Completed in 1895, the tan brick depot combines Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival features, with elegant arched entry openings, scalloped siding, and ornamental brackets carved with sunbursts. Inside, the building housed waiting rooms, a ticket office, baggage rooms, and restrooms.
The depot served its original purpose for decades, but by the late 1950s, as automobile travel upstaged passenger trains, the small depot, along with many others across the state, became obsolete. It housed a liquor and convenience store for a few years, but by 2015 the building had been shuttered for good.
Quilters Hall of Fame, a Marion-based nonprofit celebrating quilting as an art form, acquired the dilapidated depot in 2016 with plans to adapt it as a community and exhibit space. The group previously restored the Marion home of Marie Webster—an influential quilt designer in the early 1900s—as a headquarters for its national program and targeted the depot as additional space for workshops, classes, and displays.
Using a loan from Indiana Landmarks’ Endangered Places Loan Fund, the group acquired the vacant depot and immediately began work to reverse the effects of neglect. Workers installed a new roof and cleared interior debris to reveal previously hidden features, including an original fireplace and original vaulted ceilings.
The project picked up steam when a generous benefactor funded substantial exterior repairs, including replacement of missing wood windows, new exterior paint, and new gutters. Using a grant from Indiana Landmarks’ Efroymson Family Fund, the group replaced rusty steel security doors with custom-milled cherry wood doors, using an original door found in the basement as a template for restoration.
In the coming months, the Quilters Hall of Fame will begin interior rehabilitation at the depot, with funding from the Indiana Historical Society earmarked for a new heating and cooling system. The group is continuing to raise funds for additional work, aiming to open the rehabilitated depot in spring 2026.
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