RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A local preservation group is calling on the new owners of the Old Seaboard Train Station to preserve the building.
The property was bought by a developer in December and plans are in the works to turn it into a walkable, mixed-use development.
To Matthew Brown, there’s nothing more beautiful than the Old Seaboard Train Station building.
“Look at it. It’s a gorgeous neoclassical revival portico. It was built in 1942,” Brown said.
He is a historical preservationist and member of the local group, Mordecai CAC. He can tell you a lot about its history.
“Twelve trains a day stopped here. This is where all the soldiers headed to WWII, left their families, and then a couple years later came back and greeted their families,” Brown said. “It was a train station for decades, and then in the recent decades, it’s been this thriving happy retail and restaurant center.”
All that history is why he and others with Mordecai CAC want the building to stay in its place.
But a new developer has plans to turn it into a mixed-use space.
Turnbridge Equities is currently asking the city to rezone the property from seven stories to 20.
Brown said he fears the building will be torn down.
“If the city gives the developer this huge gift of nearly tripling the capacity of the property, they need insist that the developer include the condition that the train station be saved,” he said.
Right now, the future of this building is still up in the air.
Last month, the city of Raleigh’s planning and zoning commission recommended the approval of zoning conditions that would preserve at least 50 percent of the building, but developers did not say how it would be preserved.
Brown said he wants it written in the rezoning application that the train station will be saved.
“They have not yet added the condition of saving it in this rezoning application so they could still tear it down.”
CBS 17 reached out to Turnbridge Equities but did not hear back.
The rezoning case is set to go before the Raleigh City Council. A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 6th.