WASHINGTON – Anyone interested in learning about station revitalization efforts on a state-wide level will enjoy two recent reports produced by the Center for Urban Affairs and Community Services at North Carolina State University: Station Revitalization in North Carolina: Tribute to the Past and Investment in the Future and Saved, Revived, or Lost Forever: The Status of North Carolina’s Historic Depots.
The former examines the impact that 17 revitalized rail stations (13 with Amtrak service) have had on their communities. Authors Donna M. Hughes, Ph.D., and Alison R. Buck, Ph.D., write, “Not only do existing community characteristics influence outcomes of revitalization projects, but revitalized stations can have a variety of direct and indirect positive impacts on local communities.” Impacts evaluated include revenue from renters and/or events held at a station; heritage tourism at or near a station; neighborhood change near a station; and more.
The latter report “presents information on the strategies that communities and organizations in North Carolina use to repurpose historic depots as well as challenges that delay revitalization and obstacles faced during the revitalization and repurposing process.” Among the 142 depots surveyed, 11 are served by Amtrak. The authors identify 16 types of uses for the depots, including museums, offices, restaurants, events space and passenger rail.