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franklin county times

Livingston depot gets a face lift

By Staff
RENOVATIONS n Glen Coleman chips mortar away from a wall that holds the signature of Sam Fuller, the oldest legible signature dated May 26, 1911. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 20, 2001
LIVINGSTON, Ala. The renovation of the old train depot into a new home for Livingston City Hall offices is well under way and expected to be complete by the year's end.
Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt said renovations started earlier this year.
City officials aren't sure when the depot closed to passengers and freight, but City Councilman Gary Busby remembers some of the stories of its heyday.
Robbie LaCoste with R.A.C. Construction said he and his co-workers, Glenn Coleman and Corey Hayden, spent much of last week working on a new floor for the building.
The new sheetrock will soon cover the old, graffiti-filled brick walls in the loading area, a large room where many passengers and once passed through on the way to other Southern towns and cities.
LaCoste said he has heard there are signatures on the walls dating back to the 1880s, but the oldest legible signature is that of Sam Fuller, dated May 26, 1911.
The men agree it's a shame the signatures can't be protected and showcased, but the wall is deteriorated to the point it can't be used. The mortar that once held the bricks together has turned to powder, and many of the bricks are crumbling to the floor.
Some features, like the ticket booth windows and the large, sliding wooden doors that cover the loading doorways, will remain.
A $250,000 federal transportation department grant administered through the state will provide half the funding for the project, and Livingston is funding the other half, Tartt said.
Architects with Goodwin, Mills and Cawood are the contracted designers. The Montgomery firm's architects have worked with Livingston officials on such recent projects as the new public library and the new community center. R.A.C. Construction, the contractor, is a Livingston-based firm owned.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.