During my 45 years of loving railroad things, I've seen some depots saved and some demolished. It seems to me that preserving the Valparaiso depot depends on three things.
1. It might not be necessary to move the depot. Its owner, the Canadian National Railway, let the Durand, Mich., depot remain in place, provided a fence was run between the depot and the tracks.
2. Valparaiso's depot will probably adapt. If a new owner can be found he, she or they must be free to change for a new use. This occurred in depots at Hebron, Chesterton, Fort Wayne and elsewhere.
3. However, Valparaiso's depot could be shifted safely quite a distance. The Williamston, Mich. depot, which I helped move, rolled a mile to new territory. Its new tenant-owner, the local chamber of commerce, got bargain space in a sound structure.
Legwork is needed, but the depot is worth it.
- David Jones, Valparaiso