Tennessee Preservation Trust

Columbia Depot - Let the Rehabilitation Begin!

Posted: 01/21/2013

Columbia Train Depot to Undergo Big Makeover

On Sunday, January 20th, David and Debra Hill opened the doors of the Columbia Depot to the Maury County Historical Society. Last used for passenger trains in 1966, the Depot has sat empty since the 1980s. Several attempts to restore the Depot have been proposed, but none as yet have come to fruition. Until now.

The Hills recently purchased the Depot and shared with MCHS their hopes for the 1905 structure. The final plans are not firm, but ideas include event space, a restaurant, office space, an antique showroom, or a museum. All kinds of possibilities exist for the Depot, but preservationists can rest assured that the Hills will be very sensitive to the historic fabric of the Depot and will rehabilitate the depot appropriately. As the linked article states, David Hill says, “the overlying goal is to make it as close to original as we can.” The original doors were in the building when the Hill’s purchased the property. And as luck would have it, Hill came across the original windows while Googling the Depot for photos. Plaster work on the 1st and 2nd floors will be repaired and any missing elements will be replaced in-kind. Work should begin within the next month or so and we will keep you updated on the progress.

One thing is missing that the Hills have been seeking – older pictures of the depot. If you have photos, please let us know as not many historic photographs of the structure are available. We will pass along all photos to the Hills and the Maury County Historical Society.

Check out the Columbia Herald’s great article on the Maury County Historical Society’s January meeting at the Columbia Train Depot.

The Columbia Depot was listed on TPT’s Ten in Tennessee in 2009 for lack of funding and neglect. An offer threatening to relocate the structure to St. Louis was also considered as was selling the building materials. Fortunately, neither of these came to fruition and the building has a chance to become a shining jewel of the community again. Investing in the Depot is not only good for this particular building, but for the entire community. We are eager to watch the transformation unfold and will keep you posted as work is completed.

More images of the event and the Depot can be found on Facebook.