DEADWOOD — The Deadwood City Commission voted Monday to accept the low bid from Rangel Construction for the replacement of Deadwood’s historic Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad Depot roof at a cost of $396,700. The project is expected to be complete this fall and the Deadwood History and Information Center, which is now housed in the historic locale, will remain open during construction.
The depot, located at 3 Seiver St., was built in 1897 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 as part of the Deadwood Historic District and has been rehabilitated into a visitor center.
Deadwood Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker said that back in the day, slate was used to construct the roof to keep it from catching on fire from sparks thrown by the trains.
The last time the roof was replaced was in 1992.
“It appears that during the original installation the roof was either over nailed or under nailed and additional snow guards were added after the original installation,” Kuchenbecker said. “Walking on a slate roof can cause hairline fractures to the slate, which appear three to five years later along with the failure of the slate.”
The cost of nearly $400,000 to rehab the roof includes removal of the existing slate, a 100 year warranty with proper installation, masonary and tuckpoint repairs, wood repairs, enlargement and stringing of gutters and a bridge cap.
While the roof isn’t leaking, there are other concerns with its integrity.
“Slates are sliding off, we’ve lost the snow guard and gutters have been damaged,” Kuchenbecker said. “The project includes masonary and tuckpoint repairs and some has begun to shift.”
Kuchenbecker added that the depot is a valuable historic resource in Deadwood.
“The Historic Preservation Commission is stewards of our historic public buildings and follow the Secretary of Interior standards,” Kuchenbecker said. “Leading by example has been very important and will continue to be very important to the commission and this office.”