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The historic Union Hotel building, located along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, is being temporarily closed for a "thorough structural assessment," according to city and state officials.

Officials with Jefferson City and the Office of Administration and Department of Natural Resources said the decision to close the building was a precautionary measure to assure the safety of volunteers and visitors until the assessment can be conducted.

The building is owned by OA and managed in cooperation with DNR and Jefferson City.

"The Union Hotel is a state historic site, and as caretakers of Missouri's state parks and historic sites, we are constantly assessing the 'health' of properties," DNR spokesman Brian Quinn said. "Recently, we've noticed a growing issue with the building's brick and mortar exterior and decided it was time to take action before it gets worse."

Quinn said last week they brought in a team, which included an engineer and an architect, to conduct a preliminary assessment of the building's exterior.

"The team thought the issues were serious enough to warrant a thorough assessment by a structural engineer, so we are arranging for someone to do that as soon as next week," Quinn said.

The hotel, which was built in 1855, is part of the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site and houses the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery and the Amtrak station waiting room. Amtrak service and customer parking will not be disrupted. Amtrak customers will have access to an outdoor tent and portable toilets for use while waiting to depart.

The results of the assessment will determine when the Amtrak station waiting room and the gallery can resume normal operations. State and local officials are working with Amtrak and the Missouri Department of Transportation to plan ahead and identify a potential alternate location for the customer waiting room if a long-term move is deemed necessary.

"The building is more than 160 years old, so the fact that it's showing some age is not surprising," Quinn said. "The last major masonry repair was done in the early 1970s, so it's probably time for another 'facelift.' I believe the roof was replaced in 2017."

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