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Garner council asks GRA to explore moving its historic train depot museum

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February 06, 2017
By Aaron Moody
amoody@newsobserver.com

February 2, 2017

 

Town leaders are looking a new and permanent home for the historic train depot that currently serves as a museum on East Garner Road, but have yet to determine where it would go.

The Town Council on Tuesday asked representatives of the Garner Revitalization Association to form a committee to make a recommendation on the future of the 115-year-old depot, including what possible uses it could have. Mari Howe, the director of the GRA and the town’s downtown development director, said she could put that group together and report back within six to eight months.

Town Manager Rodney Dickerson reviewed drawbacks to the depot’s current location, nestled between East Garner Road and the railroad tracks with limited room for parking.

“A few years ago, we made some improvements to it, put in a ramp and improved the parking, but because of its location near the railroad and Garner Road, it’s really not an ideal location for pedestrians or for visitors,” Dickerson said.

Town Council member Kathy Behringer pushed for the discussion and for action on the depot. She said the town has delayed the project too many times.

“My concern is that we talk about it, and we talk about it and talk about it, and we go back over there and we repair it, and repair it, and then we let it fall into disrepair again,” Behringer said. “We have the opportunity to move it and utilize it as a museum, as a visitors center – something that will be of benefit to the town.”

Behringer said historical emphasis has changed along Main Street as the corridor has evolved, but that history is still important.

“If we have the opportunity to preserve it, I think it’s incumbent upon us to do that,” she said.

No one objected to protecting the depot, which was moved to Rand Road in 1967 and returned in 1987 to its original and current location. Council members and others who spoke at the meeting were less certain about where it should, or could, be moved again.


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