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Oregon DOT Reopens Historic Salem Depot as Multimodal Hub

A former railroad baggage depot located next to the Amtrak station in Salem, OR, reopened Jan. 30 as a multimodal facility serving Greyhound Bus and providing connections to Cherriots local buses and other bus service.

Oregon DOT, which owns the structure, said the former Salem Railroad Baggage Depot has been renamed “Dixie’s Depot” in memory of Dixie Kenney, an elementary school teacher whose husband donated $96,000 to the project “to help remember Dixie and help improve Salem’s view of itself and for the rest of the world.” Other funding came from federal and state agencies, the city and Greyhound.

The facility was originally built in the early 1890s as an attachment to the city’s passenger rail station built in 1888-1889; in 1918, when a new station was constructed, the depot was moved north on the property. It was used to store both passenger luggage and freight shipments until around 1970 and had been abandoned for more than 20 years.
A crowd of supporters attended ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the former Salem Railroad Baggage Depot, now called “Dixie’s Depot.”

Oregon DOT Historic Resources Program Coordinator Chris Bell, who worked extensively on the project over the past five years, said, “The feeling of preservation today is, ‘Salvage as much as you can, reuse as much as you can,’ because not only is this material indicative of this building and period—from style to shape to quality—but it reflects a patina and authentic sense of place, which you can see today, that is impossible to recreate with new construction.”

As much as possible, the project incorporates original wood salvaged from the structure and includes both original design elements and new ones that followed the original design.
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