On March 11, 2014, the first official committee meeting was held, and planning began for the restoration and repurposing of the Tazewell Train Station. Mayor Donald Buchanan and Town Manager Todd Day greeted the committee and offered the support of the Town of Tazewell in this endeavor to Councilman Dr. Terry Mullins, who spearheaded this project.
The depot was donated by Norfolk and Southern Railway in 2007, and a study was completed in 2012 assessing the structural needs of the building. Complete restoration, which would include plumbing, electrical, structural, and heating updates, are estimated between $270,000 and $310,000.
Four key groups were established, each with a unique purpose, from research, to grants, fundraising, and repurposing.
The repurposing and research teams have started the intensive application process for registering the Tazewell Train Station on the State and National Historic Registers. Achieving this designation will be a valuable asset, and will provide great opportunities for grant funding and promoting tourism.
The repurposing committee is also keenly focused on the possibilities the building will offer once restoration is completed. The station is currently divided into 3 distinct areas, a passenger waiting room, ticket counter office area, and the luggage/cargo room.
Short term options being weighed include using the waiting room as a visitor/information/museum/display area, renting the ticket counter space out as office space (with the understanding that the lessee hold office hours that would allow the visitor area to remain open for the public), and using the luggage/cargo area as a community center meeting facility.
While long term goals include revitalizing the area (tourism zone, arts district), Farmer’s Market, music pavilion, bicycle rentals for the Clinch River Trail, train excursions, passenger car display (school activities and weekly story time), and Mystery Dinners. The possibilities are endless! The committee members believe that together, with the support of our great community, we can all achieve each of these goals.
From the Open House, held on July, 25, 2014: