PITTSBURG — One of Pittsburg’s newest attractions has landed on a list full of old ones.
The Frisco Event Center — which was refurbished by Larry Fields and opened in May — was officially placed on the National Park Service National Register of Historic Places last week, making it one of the only train depots listed in the four-state region.
“We just received the letter confirming it Saturday,” Fields said.
The Frisco Event Center — along with other properties — was submitted to the National Register of Historic Places by the Kansas Historical Society. Frisco had been placed on the state register a few months ago, but Fields said he was surprised to learn it had made the national list.
“Not a lot of places make it on the national register,” Fields said. “We thought if we get turned down, it isn’t a big deal, but we were surprised and happy to be listed.”
Fields began renovating the Frisco Freight Depot on E. 4th Street in May 2016. Fields made sure to maintain as many original features as he could, including large wooden doors and decking around the building. The bathroom housing was also constructed from wood reclaimed from old box cars.
The National Register selects places based on four different criteria — association with events that affected history, lives of persons important to history, embodying the look or style of a period or era, or that have yielded information important to history or prehistory.
Frisco Freight was certainly prominent in its time. Fields said several Frisco depots stood in Pittsburg once, though most are now parking lots.
Along with the spot on the register, Fields said a brass plaque will hang at the event center showing it is a designated historic place. He has already spoken with plaque makers in Kansas City, Missouri.
Being listed also comes with stipulations. Certain historic aspects of the building will have to be maintained and cannot be changed.
Frisco Event Center opened nearly three months ahead of schedule, and had done little advertising, but Fields said business has been good and he expects the designation may bring more attention.
A depot has sat on the property at E. 4th since 1876, and Fields hopes it will sit there much longer.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.