Columbia train depot to undergo big makeover - WSMV Channel 4

Columbia train depot to undergo big makeover

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COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) -

A century-old train station in Maury County is about to get a big makeover decades in the making.

The Union Station train depot has been a landmark in Columbia since 1904, and once served as the social stop for travelers from Nashville to Alabama.

"This is beautiful mosaic flooring. The building is in Romanesque style, and it was in solid blocks of limestone," said Kathie Fuston, with the Maury County Historical Society.

The building is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places for it's nostalgia, but the building has not been used as a train station since the 1960s.

Offices and apartments moved out more than 30 years ago, and now its crumbling walls and a leaky roof put the depot on a less desirable list in 2009: the 10 in Tennessee list of endangered properties.

"Several people have owned it over the years and made small attempts at making restorations on it, but no one would ever complete it. It's going to be a very expensive restoration to undertake," Fuston said.

That's where local business owner and Maury County native David Hill comes in. With his wife, Debra, Hill bought the foreclosure last fall.

"We shipped our boys out to war at this facility, whether going out or coming back," he said.

Hill's restoration plans even include the railroad track that runs out back. He hopes a passenger train will run from an old plantation he saved from demolition to the train depot.

"Our purpose for that property would be to turn it into a wedding venue, and there has been some discussion - wouldn't it be wonderful if you could run a train from that property and then have the reception at this property," Hill said.

Hill plans to start construction next week.

"Very solid. The floors don't squeak. All it really needs is a little TLC and a patch here or there, and it will look as good as new," Hill said.

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