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December 10, 2013

Dismantling a depot: Charred Flora landmark being put into storage

Charred Flora landmark being put into storage

(Continued)

The town committed $25,000 for dismantling and site cleanup, to come out of cigarette tax revenues. “That was a great support to us,” Bishop said.

That was in August — with just a month to go. However, since activity had gotten under way to save the depot, Kunz agreed to sign another contract to allow Flora Main Street volunteers time to finish the work. Now the volunteers and some workers hired using the town’s funding are working against time, trying to get the building dismantled before bad weather sets in.

Bishop has delved into the history of the building — a “modern” structure in 1908, when it was built, according to Flora centennial documents — and Hufty has done the grunt work of organizing volunteers to clear out the unusable wood and debris from inside the depot.

Most of the west wall was “just about junk,” said Hufty.

Once taken apart into large wall pieces, it’ll be stacked onto a truck bed and put into one of the town buildings for storage, in the hopes that the town will find funding or win a grant to restore it at another location.

How long will it be in storage?

“Who knows ... it may never get up,” admitted Hufty. “It’s just the fact that if we don’t get it down and get it in storage, it wasn’t going to get saved.”

Bishop has applied for up to $2,500 from Indiana Landmarks, a state historical preservation organization, and a matching grant of $625 from the Carroll County Community Foundation to cover the expenses of developing a restoration plan for the depot. Dann Keiser of Cornerstone Design has already been coordinating with Bishop to lay the groundwork for planning. Bishop expects Indiana Landmarks to review the grant application Dec. 20.

In conversations with Indiana Landmarks western regional director Tommy Kleckner, Bishop has learned that the depot is “a rare historic artifact.”

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