Group completes restoration of Colorado depot

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Como1
The restored depot, with track, on Aug. 22.
Two photos, Denver, South Park & Pacific Historical Society
COMO, Colo. – Nearly eight decades after it was last used as a railroad station, a Colorado depot has been lovingly restored and is being turned into a museum to celebrate the famed “South Park Line.”

The Denver, South Park & Pacific Historical Society recently completed the restoration of the Como depot in the central part of the state. The group celebrated the completion of the restoration during the Boreas Pass Railroad Day on Aug. 22.

“It feels great to have the building restored because it’s such an important part of the South Park history,” says Bob Schoppe who helped lead the project.

The Como Depot was built in 1879 and served the Denver, South Park & Pacific, and later the Colorado & Southern Railroad, for 58 years. The last C&S train to run on the old South Park Line departed Como in April 1937 when the line was abandoned. The tracks were ripped up soon after. The depot was mostly forgotten for the next 70 years and had numerous owners. At one point it was even turned into a garage.

By the mid-2000s however, the depot was in poor shape and Schoppe says part of the structure had sunk nearly 2 feet into the ground. “It was only a few winters away from falling down completely,” he says.

In 2008, after negotiating a lease with the owner, the historical society began stabilizing and restoring the building. Among the largest projects were rebuilding all of the windows, the chimneys and the roof. The wooden platform was also rebuilt and track has been installed in front of the depot. The group hopes to eventually connect the track to the old roundhouse nearby.

The restoration cost more than $400,000 and Schoppe says it would not have been possible without the help of numerous organizations, including the Colorado State Historical Society and Colorado Preservation Inc.

The depot is one of three surviving structures at Como, which also includes a roundhouse and hotel complex. All three were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Como, located about 50 miles southwest of Denver off U.S. Route 285, is part of the South Park National Heritage Area, which was created in 2009 to preserve the South Park region’s natural and cultural history.

For more information, go to www.southparkheritage.org and www.dspphs.org.
Como2
Before and after views of the depot, comparing August 2008 with 2015.

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