Petitions call for restoration of 130-year-old Hopkinsville L&N Railroad Depot – News Channel 5 Nashville


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HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WTVF) — One woman says when there’s something worth protecting in your community, sometimes you have to fight for it yourself. She’s concerned about the deterioration of a piece of history standing in one city for 130 years.
The sound of a train barreling into Hopkinsville brings something of a nostalgia for retired teacher and school librarian Margaret Macdonald.
“My grandmother’s house was just up the street,” she said as a train passed by. “I grew up here. My mother and I rode the train all the way from Houston, Texas to Hopkinsville when I was four-years-old. I just have wonderful memories of it. So many people around here do too.”
It’s not just the train that’s so much a part of those memories, it’s the L&N Railroad Depot it passes.
“There’s just this huge connection to this building among the people in this community,” said Macdonald. “They have family members who went off to war from this depot.”
The depot was built in the 1890s and has been on the historic register since the 1970s.
The depot has seen better days. The Arts Council was based out of it, but they relocated after an electrical fire four years ago. Macdonald is concerned about the building deteriorating without upkeep.
“That’s been 40 years ago that it was totally renovated,” she said. “I just don’t think we’ve known what to do about it, y’know.”
Macdonald started the Facebook page, Save Our Hopkinsville L&N Depot, which has grown to 745 members. She said the goal is just to show the city a support for a restoration of the depot.
“If the city council wants to allocate some funding for this, then they have people who want them to do that,” Macdonald said.
NewsChannel 5 contacted the city of Hopkinsville for a comment on the future of the depot but did not get a response by news time.
In the window of the Christian County Historical Society, there are figures of the places that define Hopkinsville; they include Ferrell’s Hamburgers, the Alhambra Theater, and the depot.
“You need to think about the aesthetic value of a building and what it does for a town or a community,” said Macdonald. “People need to realize you need something to offer in town for people to want to live there. We need to have some vision of what could be possible.”
Macdonald’s also started both in-person and online petitions to restore the depot. She said about 1,200 people altogether have voiced their support for the effort so far.

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