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DUSI Hands Gate Tower, Baggage Car to City in Amended Building Lease Deal

DUSI, City Relationship Better, Stronger

Posted by Uplift Shiawassee at 1:26am 4/23/18

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Building on a stronger working relationship, Durand Union Station, Inc. and the City of Durand have agreed to an amendment to their 2016 building lease agreement for use of the 113-year old historic structure. In particular, language has been altered to change the term from a single three-year lease to a rolling three-year lease. This will save both the non-profit and the City from the expense, time, and energy that renegotiating involves. In addition, the City has removed provisions from the lease that would lay claim to “un-utilized space” within the Depot. As a result, DUSI can more easily plan for expansions to the Michigan Railroad History Museum or its own office needs.

In exchange for these changes, DUSI has handed ownership of two structures over to the city: the historic red railroad Gate Tower and GTW Baggage Car 8812, both located in Iron Horse Park. This will allow the city to better incorporate the structures (and GTW Engine 5632) into its plans to connect Iron Horse Park to the “Diamond District” closer to the Depot itself.

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The Baggage Car was Durand’s first railroad museum, opened in 1977 while negotiations to save the historic train station were at a stand-still with Grand Trunk Western. The grand opening celebration of the Baggage Car Museum served as the first annual Durand Railroad Days. After Durand Union Station began housing the Michigan Railroad History Museum in 1991, the Baggage Car and Gate Tower were both donated to DUSI by the dissolving non-profit that operated it. The Baggage Car then saw use as a secondary storage facility for the DUSI, and recently as temporary exhibition space during Railroad Days.

Durand Union Station, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit established in 1985 to preserve and operate the historic depot. Upon re-opening the depot to the public in 1991, it replaced the Durand Railroad Museum and became the state’s official railroad history museum. 

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