Mason City Depot May Find a New Home

A Minnesota company is studying the feasibility of moving a historic northern Iowa train depot that otherwise faces demolition.

Thein Moving Co. has begun a feasibility study on relocating the Mason City Depot.

The $4,800 study will determine if the building can be moved and how much it would cost, said Tricia Sandahl, the city’s planning and zoning manager.

The money will likely be taken from the city’s general fund, said Kevin Jacobson, the city’s finance director.

Three sites have been identified for a potential move, Sandahl said. The building likely won’t be moved until next year, if the study finds that moving is possible, she said.

“It would be aggressive to try and move that building this winter. They have to evacuate around the foundation,” Sandahl said. “It’s always easier to move buildings in the dead winter because the ground is more frozen. you don’t have to deal with soft ground and damaging the road.”

Canadian Pacific announced plans to demolish the structure earlier this year. Railroad spokesman Andy Cummings said the depot has been vacant since the railway relocated its operations to another structure in 2013.

The company understands the depot’s importance to Mason City, said Mallory McCredie, a spokeswoman for Canadian Pacific.

“CP is keeping all options open for disposition of the building,” McCredie wrote in an email. “As long as there is a reasonable possibility of a timely deal, the company will continue to hold off on pursuing demolition.”