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Friday, November 23, 2012 - 7:00am

Georgia's Rail Depots Crumbling

Albany’s Tift Depot landed on the 2012 Place in Peril list, published by the Georgia Trust. The overhaul of the structure is already underway, but Georgia is rich in historic train depots that need restoring.

The Tift Depot is one of only five remaining antebellum brick depots in Georgia. Thanks to a half-million in local tax dollars, restorers will keep the building from crumbling, said Tommy Gregors with the Thronateeska Heritage Center in Albany.

He said much more money will be needed to save the 1857 building and others like it.

“That money will only actually stop it from deteriorating further or falling down actually,” Gregors said. “To get it back to where it could be used for another purpose, we’re talking about much more money either through grants or private fund-raising.”

Gregors said there are plans to re-use the Tift Depot as an event space once restoration is complete.

“The challenge for any community that has a historic depot or any historic building is to find the funding to be able to restore and then, of course, the future maintenance and operation in these times,” he said.