Liberal Depot Museum Board Pushes to Restore Old Frisco Train Depot

Published 05/12 2014 06:37PM

Updated 05/12 2014 10:06PM

LIBERAL, MO.--- The fate of the rare Frisco Train Depot is in the hands of Liberal, Missouri citizens. Members of the Liberal Depot Museum Board want to preserve it to use as a museum for Liberals history. Board members say the city is now requiring them to take multiple steps before that can happen. 

"Why let something as old as this and the very oldest building just deteriorate, because I don't want to do it or you don't want to do it. We really need to work together," said Val Clark, Liberal Depot Museum Board Member. 

The building first came to Liberal in 1881 and provided mail, packaging, and passenger service. However, in the last 40 years, the train depot has been deteriorating. 

"This building is the oldest building in the City of Liberal, and we want to preserve it and make it into a museum," said Clark. 

Board members like Val Clark tell us the city has placed various restrictions on them cutting back the restoring process. 

"It's sitting on city's property, the city owns the building, and they pay insurance on it. In order to keep going, they want us to lease it, pay the utilities, and buy our own insurance," said Clark. 

All the money the board has is donated funds to help restore the building. Other Liberal citizens tell us they're in favor of restoring a lot of downtown Liberal, including the train depot.

"I've always been in favor of that. I've tried to get some of these buildings around here and get people interested in putting museums in, and I never could get any help," said Connie King, Liberal Resident. 

Connie King has lived in Liberal for about 40 years. She believes the depot museum would add character to the town. 

"We have a fascinating history and I just think it would bring people in to check us out. We've just got an odd town," said King. 

Clark says if they don't restore the depot, not only will they lose a piece of Liberals history, but where would the money go?

"It's city's property, it'd be city money and the question would be how do they return it to the people that's donated it. We formed a board to restore the building, and if they would work with us with the energy that's put into this, we could be getting more things done instead of trying to make it harder," said Clark. 

KSN tried reaching out to city leaders for comments and we didn't get a response. Liberal leaders will discuss the issues in tomorrow night's city council meeting. If you'd like to help restore a piece of Liberals history, click here for more information. 

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