Following on the heels of another depressing Demolition Alert (Demolition Alert 6: John Calvin Stevens Designed Carriage House in Gardiner, Maine) we’ve decided to lighten things up a bit with a new series that focuses on “History Saved” whenever an historic building is saved from the wrecking ball.
To kick off the series we turn to this excellent story that ran in the Portland Press Herald last week about how the historic train depot in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine is being restored:
A railway depot that brought in so many French-Canadian immigrants it became known as a local Ellis Island began to undergo renovations today after nearly four decades of deterioration.
The brick and granite Grand Trunk Depot will receive a $400,000 restoration funded by both government grants and private money, said Gerry Berube, president of the Lewiston and Auburn Railroad Co., which owns the structure. Plans call for a restaurant to open in the depot once it is restored, said Berube.
First built in 1874, the Victorian-style depot became a busy stop for passengers, especially Canadian immigrants who eventually settled in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Between 1920 and 1939, more than 80 percent of the French-Canadians who became citizens in the two cities arrived through the depot, according to local records.
For more pictures of the groundbreaking as shown above, visit the City of Lewiston’s Facebook page.
Technically, however, this is not our first story about an historic building saved . . . be sure to check out “Gingerbread House Saved in Norway, Maine.”