Letter: Save the rail museum
As a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley for the past half century, as an active participant in governance activities on the local, state and national levels, and as a community member with a deep interest in historical preservation and community character, I find it both surprising and upsetting that the Union Pacific Railroad Co. would even consider an action that threatens to destroy and eliminate the existence of the Glenwood Springs Union Pacific Railroad Museum in the historic rail station in Glenwood Springs.
Even a brief review of the history of this area reflects the national significance of the railroads in the development of our nation. The Union Pacific is significant both in the stories of its past, and in the role it plays in the lives of those who live in and visit our area today.
The museum not only educates about and reflects that history, it educates all to the significance of the development and use of railroads in the nation’s westward movement. Schoolchildren, railroad buffs, visitors, the casual tourist, those who wish to know about the significance of the place in which they choose to live and others all visit the museum and learn from the docents and volunteers who manage the museum for us all.
Many of us use the train for travel adventures. We look forward to the train’s daily arrival and departure. Its location near the museum is significant.
The nearby Hotel Colorado, Hotel Denver and Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool, Redstone’s Cleveholm Manor and numerous other local, historically designated structures have significant connections to the rail station. The station, local home for the California Zephyr, is an appropriate site for the attached museum. The museum site, although convenient for its current use, is not suitable for many other uses, for numerous and varied reasons.
I hope Union Pacific will reconsider its request for increased monetary gain, a move that will put the museum out of business. Instead, it should allow those of us who support historic preservation and research to move forward, with both social and monetary support from Union Pacific.