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Professor says trolley station can be restored

April 26, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO

Inside a small, century-old building on Main Street, the town of Boonsboro can restore a touch of 1900s Americana, a professor told members of the Town Council and historical society Tuesday.

"It's such a manageable size, and it's something that a lot, a lot of people could get into very, very quickly," John Wilson said of a building believed to be Washington County's last surviving trolley station.

Wilson, a professor at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, discussed the results of a class study of the town's trolley station. Using old pictures to illustrate how life looked at the time the turn-of-the-century station was built, Wilson told a crowd of about 25 people at the Eugene C. Smith Community Center that the building can be restored.

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The trolley ran to Boonsboro from 1902 to 1938, Town Manager John Kendall has said.

Four historical preservation and restoration students documented the building's features, examined old maps and photographs, and pored through a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog to come up with recommendations for the station's restoration, said Wilson, who guided the class.

According to Kendall, the town plans to put out bids for the building's restoration next month. Architects' estimates put the cost of reviving the 43-foot by 21-foot structure at about $125,000, he said. The town, which received a $50,000 grant in the fall for the work, is applying for additional money to help pay for the project, he said.

Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said Tuesday he was impressed by the plans for the station.

"My guess is it will attract a lot of people - a lot of tourists to Washington County - and I could see the General Assembly contributing some money to this project," Munson said.

On behalf of the town, Council member Richard E. Hawkins Sr. accepted an old telephone and typewriter from Wilson. He thanked Wilson for students' efforts on the project.

"It gives us a real good jump start on what we need to do here to preserve and restore history the way it should be," Hawkins said.

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