You Can Help the Milwaukee Road Roundhouse in Sioux City weather a Second Century image

You Can Help the Milwaukee Road Roundhouse in Sioux City weather a Second Century

Your donation today will help preserve this Cathedral of Railroading well into the future!

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The Vision

The Sioux City Roundhouse has survived a precarious journey on the road to becoming 100 years old and an icon of the Milwaukee Road and the North American granger railroad identity. Opened in July 1918 for servicing and repairing steam locomotives, the roundhouse has weathered through a fire, numerous floods, and the razing of 24 repair stalls. Yet, it still stands to weather another 100 years thanks to you.

This old steam-era railroad roundhouse-turned-historic site is home to the Sioux City Railroad Museum. The six-stall roundhouse, along with its five other back shop buildings and rail yard, sit on a 31.5 acre site that will soon tell the story of the industry, people, buildings, machinery, technology and events that built the railroad network throughout the Upper Midwest.

With your help, the Roundhouse will have a second century of life to preserve and exhibit large scale railroad motive power and rolling stock artifacts for families and children to have hands-on learning and fun. We promise that the large scale exhibits in the roundhouse building will be engaging and interactive. Exhibits and interpretative displays are being carefully planned to explain the technology behind the machinery. While families engage with the large scale machinery, a cadre of first-person interpreters and historical actors will engage with visitors to tell the stories of the people who worked the rails.

A completely restored roundhouse will provide the necessary sheltered display space for visitors to climb aboard the icons of railroading - including Great Northern Railway Steam Locomotive No. 1355, Northern Pacific Wood Caboose No. 1318, and former U.S. Navy Center-Cab Diesel Locomotive No. 17797. We will not make these exhibits of locomotives and rolling stock "off limits" by putting railings or ropes around them.

But, before we can make that vision a reality, we need to make the roundhouse building weather-tight.

Your Donation today will ensure the building's structural integrity by (1) reconstructing the building's northwest wood wall, (2) replacing the large wood locomotive doors, (3) repairing flaking and lifting paint on the wood windows; and (4) installing new lighting and electrical systems throughout the locomotive stalls. In addition, you donation coupled with those of others will renovate the clearstory section along the roof line by repairing and reinstalling the windows and wall panels. This work will in itself help improve daylighting in the roundhouse.

When complete, this project will provide renovated space dedicated to the interpretation activities and display rotations of historic locomotives and rolling stock from the museum's collection or on loan from the railroads or other museums. But we can't do it without you!

Why your donation today is so important - MATCHING FUNDS CHALLENGE

We are excited to announce that the federal and state grant funds in the amount of $415,785 are pledged to match all donations made towards this next phase of roundhouse construction work between now and September 30, 2017. Before we secure the federal and state grant funds we must raise $156,765 by the start of when construction work begins during summer 2017. We have raised sufficient funds to start the engineering and design work over the next few months and the process of competitively selected the architectural firm has started.

If, with your financial investment and those of other individuals, we can meet the Matching Funds Challenge for the federal and state grants, we will be able to set in place the selection of a general contractor to begin the much needed historic preservation work this summer. The total estimated construction costs to make the roundhouse building weather-tight and transform the roundhouse into a large-scale exhibit hall is $572,550. So you can see how important your contribution is.

Please consider a donation of any size to help us leverage the very generous matching funds provided by the federal and state grants.