The almost-160-year-old train depot in Niota, Tenn., is the target of a $156,800 transportation enhancement grant for a restoration project, officials said.
Gov. Bill Haslam and state Department of Transportation officials announced the award today to fund urgent repairs to the depot's stone and brick foundation and restore the baggage room doors, according to a news release.
The Niota Depot was built in 1854 and is the oldest standing train depot in Tennessee. It now serves as the town's city hall, officials said.
The project will allow Niota officials to promote the antebellum depot that played critical roles in East Tennessee's railroad history, the Civil War, and late 19th and early 20th century textile industries.
"Tennessee is rich with historic landmarks such as the Niota Depot, and preserving them for future generations to enjoy and appreciate is important," Haslam said. "The building's restoration and adaptive reuse can create a more vibrant and economically sustainable downtown and will bring new visitors to the area each year."