California architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood designed Abilene's Union Pacific Railroad Depot and the matching freight depot to the West, in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The building was constructed in 1928 and passenger service began in 1929.
Dwight D. Eisenhower departed Abilene from this site in 1911, for West Point and his future military career. At that time there was an older 3-story depot/hotel building located on the site. The official end of the Chisholm Trail, the original site of Texas Street and the Historic Post Office Block can be seen from the East portico entrance.
When the UP Railroad announced intentions to close the depot building in 1986, a community-wide campaign was launched to preserve the depot. Renovation costs were shared equally between city funds & community fund-raising efforts.
The Abilene Civic Center was officially dedicated in 1988 as a public use facility. It has since housed hundreds of meetings, seminars, family gatherings and more! Both the passenger depot and the freight depot were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
Please contact the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 785-263-2231 for information on renting this facility.
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Abilene Civic Center
201 NW Second Street
Abilene, KS 67410