By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
The restoration of the historic Lavonia train depot is now complete and hundreds gathered Saturday to a get a look at the future and the past.
A special open house sponsored by the Lavonia Women’s Club and the Downtown Development Authority was held Saturday afternoon so the public could get a first-hand look at the work that had been done.
Work on the depot took about three months to complete at a cost to the city of about $248-thousand dollars and was completed in time to celebrate its 100th birthday.
Instead of the original depot interior being torn out over the years, it was simply covered up over years of multiple renovations.
City manager Gary Fesperman said despite cost over runs he’s pleased with how the restoration turned out.
“This restoration came out way beyond anyone’s wildest dreams,” Fesperman said Saturday. “We knew we had a good fabric to start with, but when we started running into all of the damage that was covered up throughout the years, we had doubts we would be able to come out with what we have today and it’s been brought back to what it was 100 years ago.”
During the open house, members of the Women’s Club dressed in period costume from 1912 and conducted tours of the depot.
Margaret Ayers is president of the Lavonia Historic Preservation Commission, another group that helped with the design and planning of the restoration.
Ayers said she’s glad to see the old train station brought back to its former glory.
“I think it just looks so good and I’m so proud of it,” Ayers said. “I’m glad it’s back the way it used to look.”
Prior to the restoration work, the depot housed the DDA offices.