Historic Union Pacific Depot and Lawrence Visitor Information Center
Whether you’re visiting Lawrence for the first time or you’ve lived here for years, stop by the historic Union Pacific train depot and Lawrence Visitor Center. Located at 402 N. 2nd Street, in North Lawrence, across the Kansas River Bridge from Downtown Lawrence, the center is open Monday through Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friendly volunteers are ready to help you make a plan to explore Lawrence.
From driving directions to dining options, self-guided tour brochures to local hiking and biking maps, you’ll find it here. Need info on KU? Or a John Brown of Kansas historic tour brochure? The Visitor Center has it!
Learn a little of Lawrence’s volatile pre-Civil War history, while you’re there. View the free, 25-minute docudrama, “Lawrence: Free State Fortress.” This film about Lawrence’s turbulent beginnings and Quantrill’s Raid is shown on weekends every hour, on the hour, and weekdays by request. Copies of the film are available for purchase.
And the depot has a history of its own. During its post-Civil War rebuilding, one of Lawrence's main goals was to establish itself as the railroad hub of the Midwest. Union Pacific spent $40,000 buying lots in North Lawrence and announced that it would build a new passenger depot. The 1889 building design blends proportions and forms of French Vernacular architecture with the robust masonry exterior of the Richardsonian Romanesque.
For townspeople, the depot instantly became the hub of community activity. It was the point of departure and return for soldiers during World War I and World War II. The years took their toll on the depot and freight service was discontinued in 1984. However, Union Pacific and the City of Lawrence aggressively fought against plans to tear down the depot.
The building was saved, restored and re-opened as the Lawrence Visitor Information Center and public meeting facility in 1996. Over 20 years later this historic depot still serves visitors and residents of Lawrence. Come visit, take a look at the beautiful gardens with sculptures by local artists, and find out how you can explore Lawrence.
And when you’re ready to buy or sell your home, contact Stephens Real Estate. Our agents know the Lawrence market and are ready to help you find your perfect home in your perfect neighborhood. Call Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.