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Push to restore old train depot steams ahead

August 30, 2018

Pearland historical preservation advocates are inviting the public to attend a meeting at 6 p.m. tonight that will focus on what should be done to protect the city’s oldest structure, The Santa Fe Railroad Depot.

The depot was built in 1894, the same year that Pearland was platted, said Donald Hayes, chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee to Restore the Pearland Depot.

The group will meet at the offices of the Pearland Historical Society, 2341 N. Galveston Ave., Pearland.

Hayes, who also is an officer with the historical society, and other preservationists want to restore and improve aspects of the wood structure.

“We recognize that we may only be one storm season away from the depot’s destruction if we don’t act to restore and secure it,” Hayes said.

Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau began movement to focus on the depot by funding an architectural study and cost projections from STOA Architects for restoration work.

The depot was the center of business and social activities in Pearland’s early days. Trains brought in new residents, supplies and news from the rest of the world, Hayes said.

The building is a registered landmark with the Texas Historical Commission and has been moved twice, once from one side of the railroad tracks to the other near Texas 35, and then to its present position adjacent on Liberty Drive.

“The depot has not had a champion, either public or private, who could elevate the restoration conversation until the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau got involved in 2016, at the behest of Mayor Tom Reid,” Hayes said.

He said the building is a reminder of Pearland’s early settlers.

“ It’s our privilege to stand on their shoulders, and we need to do right by them by returning the depot to its proper place as the cultural centerpiece of Pearland,” Hayes said.

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