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Earlier this year, the Great American Station Foundation, in a commitment to station revitalization, relocated its offices from Washington, D.C. to the Railroad District in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

In addition to the national program for the Station Foundation, we will also be engaged in working with others, including the City of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the local Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation (CCHP), to revitalize the Railroad District. As a first step, we have taken offices in the old Wells Fargo building at 615 East Lincoln. We have also offered our services to the City as a partner in the revitalization of the depot, a project for which federal funds have been allocated. The City plans to rehabilitate the depot, which currently service Amtrak routes from Las Vegas to Chicago and Los Angeles, as a transportation c enter and new home for the Chamber of Commerce.

We hope also to capitalize upon a unique opportunity by developing an E-Station Initiative here and in Meridian, Mississippi and another site as a model response to the digital divide that plagues rural America. A key aspect of the E-Station Initiative wo uld be to use the high-speed connectivity enabled by fiber optics in the railroad right of way to provide an E-Commerce incubator to attract new businesses to the city. Underutilized or vacant historic buildings in the Railroad District could be provided with connectivity and basic office infrastructure necessary to attract dot.com entrepreneurs, call centers, or other information technology enterprises to the community. The E-Station could also offer facilities for professional computer training in par tnership with Highlands University. The goal of the training facilities is to provide a workforce able to compete in the new economy.

The Las Vegas Railroad District is a National Register Historic District which contains many important buildings, including the landmark La Castaņeda Hotel (pictured below), the Wells Fargo building, the Rawlins building, and the Gross-Kelly building.

For more information on the Railroad District and Las Vegas, NM, take the CCHP Virtual Tour!

Las Vegas Santa Fe DepotLa Castaņeda Hotel
Lincoln and Railroad Avenues - 1898

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe chose Las Vegas as a division point in the 1880's and built the depot and the adjacent La Castaņeda Hotel (pictured here) in 1898. The one and a half story depot featured a tin tile roof and Southwestern style parapets, but it originally also had hipped dormers and fanlight windows. Amtrak trains stop twice daily at the depot which will be rehabbed as an intermodal transportation center, interpretive center and offices for the local Chamber of Commerce in 2000-2001. T he depot has often been used for filming, most recently as a depot in Zacatecas, Mexico in the film All the Pretty Horses.

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For more information about the Great American Station Foundation, contact Janice at jvarela@transact.org.