Thursday, November 24, 2011

Topeka Church, Railroad Building Nominated For Historic Register

... ATSF Motive Power Building – 1001 NE Atchison, Topeka, Shawnee County.
The Motive Power Building was constructed in 1910 and expanded in 1930 to serve as offices to the adjacent Santa Fe Railroad shops. The turn of the century represented a new era for Santa Fe when Topeka citizens supported the relocation of the shops to the Oakland neighborhood in 1902. When completed, the investment was nearly $400,000 and employed 3,000 men and the shops covered nearly 120 acres. Many workers lived in the surrounding area andthe availability of railroad jobs is partially attributed to the influx of Mexican immigrants to Oakland. In addition to housing offices, the Motive Power Building functioned as a sort of community center for shop employees and their families. An auditorium on the top floor was used for social activities and even included performances by the Santa Fe employees’ band. The shops evolved to meet the railroad’s changing needs as it transitioned from steam to diesel power and terminated passenger service. The Motive Power Building closed its doors in 2002.
The four-story building features an exposed concrete structure and a simplified, symmetrical façade reflective of the Commercial style with applied Classical Revival ornament. It is nominated in the area of commerce. Continued

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