HPC approves platform, tunnel installation at train station; new street light near ‘Fame’

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 13, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — The Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday approved the construction of a new platform and passenger tunnel at Salisbury Station in addition to a new streetlight and pole near the “Fame” Confederate monument. 

The project at Salisbury Station, located on Depot Street, includes the construction of a new platform on the east side of the station and an under-the-tracks passenger tunnel, with elevators and stairways to be installed to access the platform. The buildings hosting the elevators will be rectangular with hipped roof cupolas, and both tan and red bricks will be used to resemble the top of the depot. The roofs will include structural clay tiles. The stairways will be fenced and enclosed in security mesh, with clay roofs overhead and lights installed. 

The project also includes some additional work such as expanded walkways and fencing. New trash bins and benches will be installed at the new platform. 

City Engineer Wendy Brindle said the design plans are about 60% complete, and another staff review is expected before the plans undergo bids for construction. 

Steve Cobb, an HPC member who recused himself from the discussion, spoke to commission members on behalf of the Salisbury Historic Foundation. Initially, the project called for the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the top of the train tracks. However, Cobb said a tunnel is less invasive than a bridge, which would have “overwhelmed” the station. Both the architects and the foundation, he added, has worked alongside the North Carolina Department of Transportation to make the tunnel consistent with its surrounding structures, though not all additions will be identical to the existing structure and materials. 

“I think this is fabulous,” said HPC member Will James.

HPC Chair Andrew Walker said the new design is “very well executed” and called it “a fantastic project.” 

Also at the meeting, the commission approved a request for the city to replace and install a streetlight and pole near the historic cemetery on North Lee Street, where the “Fame” Confederate monument now sits. There is currently a light pole hosting the security camera located behind “Fame,” which sits in the northeast corner of the cemetery near the intersection of East Franklin Street and the railroad. 

The new pole will be metal and measure 22 feet high, with a decorative cover around the base. The security camera currently mounted on the old wooden pole will be relocated to the new pole and sit 20 feet high. A 12-foot support arm will hold the street light, while the flood light will be located at the very top of the pole. 

Brindle said the current light pole is damaged and wooden, and that Duke Energy recently granted the pole to the city to mount a security camera near the Confederate monument. The new pole will use the same shade of green used throughout the city, or what’s called “Salisbury green.” While it won’t directly illuminate the monument, the flood light will illuminate both the street and into the cemetery. Brindle said there are two other flood lights located near the other side of the cemetery along Liberty Street. Flood lights are typically used in areas of the city near parks and cemeteries, Brindle added.

In other items at the meeting:

• The city is requesting site managers for this year’s annual BlockWork program in October. The 600 and 700 blocks of South Ellis Street have been selected for improvements. An on-site informational meeting for those interested will be held at 421 W. Thomas St. on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. 

• Commission members agreed to continue hosting HPC meetings in-person with masks required for all who attend. 

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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