JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin landmark will be going under a microscope — thanks to a national grant. The Downtown Joplin Alliance will get $5,000 to take a closer look at the condition of the old Union Depot. The money from the National Trust for Historic Preservation will cover the cost of a structural evaluation of the 110-year-old building. The goal is to make it easier for a potential buyer to understand the condition of the depot — and make the decision to start rehabbing the building.

“We currently do have it listed on the MLS and the nationwide commercial listings. So we’ve been getting some responses and interest there. But we are hoping with a structural assessment of the property that it kind of gives us one more piece to answer questions for them, you know. So, we’re considering this as a possible development project. You know, if the building is in good, better condition than they would anticipate then that kind of saves them money and saves them some stress, or if there’s major issues that will also allow us to be able to be like, well, here’s an issue and here’s what it’s going to take to kind of fix that,” said Lori Haun, Downtown Joplin Alliance.

The Union Depot is part of the Alliance’s “Endangered Properties Program.” The goal is to preserve the historic structure — and match it with a developer who wants to find a new use for the building.