Preserving History Amid Changes at Train Station


STAUNTON -- The City of Staunton and the Historic Staunton Foundation are keeping a close eye on proposed changes to its Amtrak station, working to make sure the station's history is not erased.

Amtrak wants to make the station more accessible and more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

On Friday city planners and the Historic Staunton Foundation explained the proposed changes. They pushed back against Amtrak's original plans, wanting steps to preserve the station's history. The signal house at the station was built in 1886, one reason the Historic Staunton Foundation wants to make sure Amtrak preserves the station's history as it makes its renovations.

Changes include grading the platform and raising it eight inches, as well as adding wheelchair ramps - all while preserving original features like the concrete, buildings and fence.

Frank Strassler, the e executive director of the Historic Staunton Foundation, says the station is unique.

"It's a great experience for the Amtrak customers," he said. "I've been on a variety of Amtrak stations, and this is a very nice station, and it's a great experience for them. And also, people with accessibility needs, they don't want their historic resources interrupted either. They want to be able to experience it just as well."

Strassler said the station is vital to the city's character, part of Staunton's Wharf Historical District.


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