President Eisenhower frequently traveled to and from Abilene by train, as a citizen, General and President of the United States.
Dwight D. Eisenhower departed Abilene from this site in 1911, for West Point and his future military career. At that time there was an older 3-story depot/hotel building located on the site. The official end of the Chisholm Trail, the original site of Texas Street and the Historic Post Office Block can be seen from the East portico entrance.
Following his death, his body was returned for burial at the Place of Meditation, via the Union Pacific Railroad, arriving in Abilene at this Depot.
California architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood designed Abilene's Union Pacific Railroad Depot and the matching freight depot to the West, in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The building was constructed in 1928 and passenger service began in 1929.
When the UP Railroad announced intentions to close the depot building in 1986, a community-wide campaign was launched to preserve the depot. Renovation costs were shared equally between city funds & community fund-raising efforts.
The Abilene Civic Center was officially dedicated in 1988 as a public-use facility. It has since housed hundreds of meetings, seminars, family gatherings, and more!
Offices for the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Abilene Area Chamber of Commerce are located in the west end of the building.
- Description Restored Historic Union Pacific Depot, rented out for meetings or gatherings.
- Total Sq. Ft. 1930
- Reception Capacity 160
- Space Notes Use of tables, chairs, podium and kitchen are part of the rental fee. We have other items available for rent, see contract at www.abilenekansas.org, under Visiting Abilene, Civic Center Rentals & Rental Contract. Call with questions or to check availability, (785) 263-2231 or (800) 569-5915.
- Theatre Capacity 160
- Banquet Capacity 160
- Number of Rooms 1
- Classroom Capacity 160