DAVIS COUNTY, Utah -- The Layton historic train station on South Main Street has seen more than 100 years of history, standing as one of the oldest and most historic structures in town.
But, for the past five years, the depot has been vacant and boarded up: an eyesore for the city.
“It started becoming more dilapidated cause, without anyone providing care for the building, it really just starting wearing and tearing,” said Kent Andersen, who is an economic development specialist for Layton City.
Demolition was a looming possibility. But now, city officials hope to finalize an agreement with a developer to renovate the station.
“This was a unique opportunity to preserve some of the history in Layton City where a lot of people hold a lot of fond memories, a lot of farewells to missionaries, a lot of farewells to soldiers occurred at the train depot," Andersen said.
Ted Ellison, who once owned a restaurant inside depot, was thrilled to hear the news.
"I think to preserve it and make it brand new again is going to be really exciting,” he said. “It's an exciting thing to do. It’s certainly I guess kind of a diamond in the rough right now, but I think it certainly has some possibilities.”
Utah has 30 historic train depots left, and according to the Railroad Station Historical Society, the Layton depot is in the worst condition of them all.
“When it comes to roof, flooring, windows— just a lot of work needs to occur to make it habitual again,” Andersen said.
Renovation could cost more than $800,000 – which will be raised by state and federal agencies in cooperation with several private groups. The hope is the old train station will become home to a restaurant and offices.
“Really this is going to be an integral part of creating a place that the residents of Layton City have a place where they feel comfortable in and get excited about going to,” Andersen said.
Construction is set for spring and the project is anticipated to be completed by the end of this summer.