On the east corner of the downtown square in Bushnell, Illinois, the community is pitching in to help restore a train depot and an adjacent building dating back to 1900.
The Bushnell Citizens Coalition, a non-profit group made up of citizens working to revitalize the downtown, leased the train depot from the city under a 99-year, $1 lease agreement. The Coalition plans turn the depot — which dates back as early as 1910, when Bushnell was a bustling railroad town that serviced freight and passenger trains — into a commercial space for vendor kiosks. The depot will also serve as “welcome” stop for downtown visitors, and it will be the home of the Bushnell Citizens Coalition.
Adjacent to the depot, a building being restored by Mark Rauschert will eventually be a restaurant and bar. Rauschert is president of his family’s company, Midwest Control Products.
Like the Citizens Coalition, Rauschert’s goal isn’t to turn a profit. After finishing renovations in about two years, Rauschert plans to lease the building and restaurant to someone else and ensure it’s a sustainable business for whomever takes it over.
Photo credit: www.flickriver.com