HISTORICAL AJO TRAIN DEPOT TRANSFORMED

Old Ajo train depot gets new lease on life

2013-07-10T00:00:00Z Old Ajo train depot gets new lease on lifeArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The historical train depot in Ajo has been transformed into the Ajo Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce office.

Pima County supplemented a $500,000 Arizona Department of Transportation grant with $150,000 in bond funds approved by voters in 2004 to complete the project.

The Ajo Train Depot was used by the Tucson, Cornelia and Gila Bend Railroad for many years following its construction in 1916.

When the mine near Ajo closed in the 1980s, the depot and many other historical buildings were vacated.

The Ajo townsite, including the depot building, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, making it eligible for various grants, Pima County officials said in a news release.

The nonprofit International Sonoran Desert Alliance purchased the building in 2008 to rehabilitate it for the town's visitor center and Chamber of Commerce, to stimulate tourism and attract businesses to Ajo.

The building needed mechanical and system upgrades, as well as restoration of its architectural details and interior, the county news release said.

The depot now has several new offices, meeting spaces and a gift shop.

The Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission honored the project with its Historic Preservation Award earlier this year.

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