Argenta Depot Opening
May 12, 1998


All RITSers:

FYI, the City of North Little Rock, Arkansas (formerly Argenta) will
conduct an re-opening ceremony on Tuesday, May 12th, for the newly-restored
former RI depot in the city.  Mayor Patrick Henry Hays will be the
presiding officer, and officials of the city and the NLR Historical
Commission will participate in the ceremony.  The Rock Island Club -
Arkansas Division has been invited to be involved in the event.  The city
has invited the press, and we hope to attract public attention through the
media to this important mid-Arkansas RR site.

Restored with ISTEA funds, the exterior of the decaying depot was
completely redone.  Craftsmen rebuilt the entire roof and replacing missing
and broken tiles, tuckpointed the brickwork, replaced rafters, replaced
cornice stonework, and replaced windows and doors in the original style.

About one-half of the interior has been refurbished and will be used as a
community center by the Sherman Park Community Development Corporation. 
Some modernization was built-in to the restoration plan -- a new electrical
system, new HVAC system, new toilets, and ADA compliance features.  The
remaining half of the building is unfinished, and the city is now seeking
an adaptive re-use for this portion.

The Rock Island Club - Arkansas Division provided assistance to the
project.  It honored the legacy of the Rock Island RR by offering a grant
to re-paint the nearly-faded-out RI heralds on two exterior walls.  The
painter will apply the heralds exactly in the original positions.  During
the re-opening ceremony, the heralds will be temporarily covered and then
revealed by RIC-AD President, Dan Pennington.

Rock Island O gauge train models owned by RITS member Mike Mottler will be
on display during the event.

RI fans in Arkansas and the region are invited to attend the ceremony. 
Photos of the newly-restored building and of the ceremony will be posted to
the RITS website.  Hopefully, this example of historic  preservation can be
replicated at other former RI venues.

Mike Mottler, Vice President, RIC-AD
mottlerm@conwaycorp.net

Pictures of the Argenta project in progress