Niota Depot called one of Tennessee's most endangered structures

Niota Depot called one of Tennessee's most endangered structures

October 31st, 2015 by Evan Hoopfer in Local Regional News

10 in Tennessee, 2016

Franklin Masonic Hall

Bonnie Kate Theater, Elizabethton, Tenn.

Hillsboro Village, Nashville

Johns-King House, Smyrna

Antoinette Hall, Pulaski

Niota Depot

Marine Hospital, Memphis

Blair’s Ferry Storehouse, Loudon

Great Falls Mill, Rock Island

Photos by Ron Clayton, Niota.

Photos by Ron Clayton, Niota.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The Tennessee Preservation Trust released its list of the 10 most threatened historic structures in the state Friday, and one — the Niota Depot — is in McMinn County.

The restored depot is at 201 E. Main St. in Niota. Other structures on the statewide list include the Franklin Masonic Hall and Blair's Ferry Storehouse in Loudon, a former military hospital in Memphis, the first black Presbyterian church in the Rogersville area and an 1860s-era opera house in Pulaski.

"The Ten in Tenn are the 10 most endangered historic properties in Tennessee," Dr. Charles Womack, Tennessee Preservation Trust board chairman, said in a news release. "Our listing them raises public awareness and helps local groups in their efforts to raise funding to preserve them for future generations."

The trust has released the list every year since 2001. Of the 110 listed structures, close to half have been saved or in the process of being protected or rehabilitated, the release said.

The depot in McMinn County was built in 1854 during the construction of Tennessee railroads. The building was listed on the 2009 Top 10 most threatened structures list, too, and then it received repairs to save the structure.

But this July, the release said, one of the chimneys collapsed and caused a partial ceiling collapse, and the building was condemned. The building also served as Niota's city hall, leaving the town without a central government office.

"If the building is not reoccupied by the city, it will be forfeited back to the railroad and likely torn down," the release said.

"Ten in Tenn provides an opportunity for education and action," Michael Birdwell, board vice chairman for the trust, said in the release. "We want to inform the public about endangered historic structures that have significance for a specific place of the entire state/nation."

Contact staff writer Evan Hoopfer at ehoopfer@timesfreepress.com or @EvanHoopfer on Twitter or 423-757-6731.