SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A railroad depot in Springfield where Abraham Lincoln gave a speech before heading to Washington, D.C., for his first inauguration has failed to make it on the National Register of Historic Places for decades. But a new effort is trying to change that.

Organizers want the historical designation for the old two-story, brick Great Western Depot, given Lincoln's February 1861 speech there, The (Springfield) State-Journal Register (http://bit.ly/1ki6RPg ) reported.

Springfield attorney Jon Noll and his wife, Pinky Noll, bought the so-called Lincoln Depot from the newspaper in early 2012. The renovated ground floor that features artifacts from the Lincoln era reopened to the public a year ago, and the upper level is home to Noll's law office.

Several thousand tourists passed through the depot from May through August of last year, and many who assume the site is on the historic register are shocked to find out it is not, Pinky Noll said. Hundreds this year already have visited the landmark, she said.

Edward Russo, a retired Springfield historian, is finalizing the application for the national register, having invested six months of research into the effort to "make sure we have the best possible case." His hope is that the depot gets the designation later this year.

During his speech just two blocks from his home 153 years ago, Lincoln told the gatherers: "My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting."


Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com