phase i: reconstruction and restoration of the exterior
In the aerial photo above we see the railroad tracks at the center of the photo. The railroad right of way is shown in purple. We see the Flora town parking lot to the right of the tracks, with Columbia Street to the south, and Main Street to the north. The depot site is across the tracks from the parking lot and is comprised of the two lots adjacent to the tracks between Main Street and Columbia Street. The house fronting on
Columbia Street is no longer there.
Digging begins on a warm day in January 2016. The foundation was poured on January 8, 2016.
The site was snow covered for part of the month.
Depot sections were delivered to the site before the snow fell.
The Depot sections will be removed from the trailer, sorted, and evaluated when the weather breaks.
January 28, 2016. The office section is placed on the foundation.
January 28, 2016. A wall section is measured for placement. It is painstaking work.
January 29, 2016. Moving right along.
February 5, 2016. This is the west wall, which is the back of the depot. When the salvageable materials have been pieced together, restoration work will begin. This wall in particular was extensively modified when the building was converted into a Laundromat.
The south end of the depot. The original wall no longer exists. We are looking in at what was the waiting room for passengers.
These artifacts were found today (2/5/2016) in a depot wall at the site: two men's handkerchiefs, a pair of ladies' shoes and one stocking, an empty bottle of Schlitz, a rusty knife, and, in the container, an assortment of Vandalia Railroad ticket stubs and baggage claims. There's story here somewhere!
The building is becoming more substantial with the use of mostly salvaged materials. February 19, 2016.
February 19, 2016. Trusses were delivered today. They were custom fabricated by a company in Otterbein. They will support the slate roof.
February 23, 2016. Trusses are being set today.
February 23, 2106. Trusses are being set. Just for interest, below is a picture of the roof being removed from the depot in 2013 prior to deconstruction. All of this old lumber was saved. It can't be used to support the new slate roof due to safety issues caused by age and damage. However, some of it will be incorporated into the new roof system, and used elsewhere in the restoration.
December 2013. (See caption above.)
March 19, 2016. The roof has been decked and papered. Slate for the roof has been ordered from the quarry in Pennsylvania. It should arrive in May.
The south wall was completely missing. Construction crews were able to rebuild it using scraps of salvaged materials, except for the section of new wood shown here.
The lead remediation that is required has begun. The upper portion of this picture shows the fish scale scallops scraped down to the original wood. We have obtained paint samples from Lewistown Station in Pennsylvania and are in the color-matching process.
Crews have been using a combination of new materials and salvaged materials for the restoration. Here we can see the contrast between the original fish scale scallops and the new. Mostly new siding and beaded board have been used on this, the west wall, which was extensively modified when the depot was moved and converted into a Laundromat.
Crews have been working to remove old paint using a lead remediation process. We contacted Lewistown Station in Pennsylvania, home of an important Pennsylvania Railroad archive. They sent paint samples of colors that would have been used on depots of this era. The samples were sent to the Pittsburg Paint labs by Wilcox Lumber (Flora) and color matched. The paint is not quite dry in this photo. We were told the siding would have been the buff color, the trim, brown, and the window sashes red. Others have said all the trim would have been red. A final decision will be made soon.
May 26, 2016. Most of the restoration has been completed, waiting on windows and doors. Photos were taken to document what is original before the building is painted next week. The black paper was loosened during a wind storm and will be re-attached.
June 17, 2016. With a base coat of color and the slate roof going on tile by tile, the project is getting closer to completion. Snow guards are being added.
August 23, 2016. The roofer worked out of a lift for two days to install the last portion of the slate roof. The roof is installed bottom to top and slate can't be walked on. Getting off the roof after the last section has been nailed is a problem. But, it's done!
September 21, 2016. Phase I is officially completed. Phase II is already in progress. See the Phase II tab under Project Progress.