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cityboi

J. Douglas Galyon Depot (downtown Greensboro)

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Built in 1926 with its Beaux-Arts architecture, the old train station along with adjoining buildings serve as Greensboro's multi modal transportation hub. (Passenger train service/Amtrak, city bus station, regional bus hub, and coach bus hub). Its considered to be North Carolina's most beautiful historic train station and its actually one of two historic train stations that exist in downtown Greensboro. The  city's first passenger train station built in the 1800s is located where the tracks cross South Elm Street. The Douglas Galyon Depot ranks 16th on one list of America's top 25 most beautiful historic train stations. The smaller sister station in Winston-Salem "Union Station" has a similar façade. Hopefully passenger train service will return there because it too is a beautiful station. 

The Douglas Galyon Depot closed to passenger service in the 1970s and served as an event center in the 1980s. Passenger service returned in 2005 and Amtrak moved from that ugly little station near Spring Garden Street to the beautiful downtown depot.

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/the-25-most-beautiful-old-train-stations-in-america-52408#union-station-in-portland-oregon

 

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The 1899 depot. While it has lost some of its architectural elements, it still stands today. Greensboro is probably the only city in North Carolina that has two historic train stations still standing. However Southern Railway still owns the 1899 depot which is used for some of their office space. Hopefully the city will purchase it one day so it can be renovated into its former glory with the roof and all and lease it to someone who will open a restaurant and live music venue in it. Cafe seating could be located under platform roofing attached to the building with decorative fencing protecting patrons from the trains for safety.  Would be nice enjoying a meal while watching the trains go by.

 

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The Old Cascade Saloon on the other side of the tracks, also built in the 1800s, was recently renovated to its former glory and is now an office building. Downtown Greensboro has a good number of buildings along South Elm Street built in the 1800s. Such preservation helps give downtown Greensboro its unique charm. The historic district called "Old Greensborough" has a totally different character from the north end of downtown where you see skyscrapers and more modern buldings.

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One interesting fact, Greensboro actually had a third historic train station that was older than the 1899 station. It was a freight train station though. It was demolished but the concrete base of the station still exist in the downtown railyard.

 

More of the Douglas Galyon Depot 

 

A tunnel and escalators take you to the platform.

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A little off the train topic, here is some of the 19th  and early 20th century architecture along South Elm Street. I like how the scale of the buildings gradually changes. South of the tracks most of the building are around 2 stories and as you get closer to the heart of downtown north of the tracks the historic buildings range between 3 to 5 stories with the occasional tall building like the 15 story Guilford Building built in 1926 and the 9 story South Eastern Building built around 1919. The South Eastern Building was recently converted to apartments.

Typical scale south of the tracks which gives the south end a small town like character.

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Typical scale north of the tracks.

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Old Wrangler Jeans factory on a South Elm now being eyed for high paying "creative"  jobs from a New York based company 

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The 15 story Guilford Building was the home of Greensboro Bank and Trust. It was designed to be a hotel and was built the same year the 14 story King Cotton Hotel was built. It currently serves as office space for small businesses but back in the 1980s is was part of a larger plan to be a part of the adjoining Lofts at Greensboro Court Apartments. It would have been downtown's first highrise apartment tower.  It is the tallest building on the south end of downtown. Hopefully one day it will either become a mixed-use apartment building or maybe even a future hotel since the building was designed to be a hotel. Hotel Indigo has been taking historic properties and turning them into hotels.

My wishlist........This could be a great mixed-use project if the Guilford Building were turned into a Hotel Indigo taking up the first 7 floors with about 115 rooms and apartments taking up the upper 8 floors. And there is room for parking. Historic buildings were destroyed by the great 1985 fire behind the building facing Davie Street. Its now a gravel lot.  A deck for a Guilford Building hotel/apartment development could be built on that lot and have street level retail and restaurants along Davie. The architecture  would mask that fact that it is a deck and could mimic the architecture of the Guilford Building. The Guilford Building is located a block south from where the Westin Hotel will be built.

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The Jefferson Standard building, which was the tallest building in the south when it was built in 1923 is approaching its 100th year anniversary. Jefferson Pilot built a 20-story addition behind the building in 1990. Greensboro based Jefferson Pilot Life was acquired by Lincoln Financial and the building is the headquarters for Philadelphia based Lincoln Financial's insurance division. Its downtown's largest single office space.  Between the 1923 structure and the 1990 addition, the space Lincoln Financial occupies in this building is equivalent to a 40 story tower. However Lincoln Financial also occupies a 5 story building next to the tower which use to be the Bank of America building. You could build a 45 story office tower in downtown Greensboro (the height of Charlotte's tallest towers) and Lincoln Financial would comfortably fill it.

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Edited by cityboi
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Once again, I hate to burst your bubble, but the current Greensboro depot is a copy of and is predated by the Union Station in Winston-Salem, which was begun in 1924.  The New York architects Fellheimer & Wagner designed Union Station in 1924, then copied its own design with a slightly wider facade in 1926 for Greensboro.  Union Station has recently been immaculately restored to its original appearance after years of use and amazing unchanged condition as an auto garage.

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On 5/18/2019 at 12:12 PM, RichardC said:

Once again, I hate to burst your bubble, but the current Greensboro depot is a copy of and is predated by the Union Station in Winston-Salem, which was begun in 1924.  The New York architects Fellheimer & Wagner designed Union Station in 1924, then copied its own design with a slightly wider facade in 1926 for Greensboro.  Union Station has recently been immaculately restored to its original appearance after years of use and amazing unchanged condition as an auto garage.

What does predating have to do with anything? Union Station is beautiful but not as the Douglas Galyon Depot or at the time it was built Southern Railway Depot 

Edited by cityboi

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That is your opinion, not fact.  Bigger does not constitute “more beautiful.”

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2 hours ago, RichardC said:

That is your opinion, not fact.  Bigger does not constitute “more beautiful.”

I'm not just talking about size but the ornate detail as well. Its pretty clear. But who really cares which one looks better. They are both beautiful stations.

Union Station-Winston-Salem 

 

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Douglas Galyon Depot-Greensboro 

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Edited by cityboi

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You are the one implying the station  is more beautiful.  If not, then who considers it the most beautiful in North Carolina?  What is the source of your proclamation?  Some might ‘consider’ the station in Salisbury more beautiful, which happens to be the last surviving Spanish-revival station in North Carolina designed by Frank Milburn (which, by the way, Winston-Salem had the first of six designed by Frank Milburn in NC),  or even the iconic Eastern Seaboard Station in Hamlet.  Have you seen either?  You seem to freely intersperse facts with your opinion, which is understandable, since you love Greensboro so much, and know so little about anything else.

Edited by RichardC
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33 minutes ago, RichardC said:

You are the one implying the station  is more beautiful.  If not, then who considers it the most beautiful in North Carolina?  What is the source of your proclamation?  Some might ‘consider’ the station in Salisbury more beautiful, which happens to be the last surviving Spanish-revival station in North Carolina designed by Frank Milburn (which, by the way, Winston-Salem had the first of six designed by Frank Milburn in NC),  or even the iconic Eastern Seaboard Station in Hamlet.  Have you seen either?  You seem to freely intersperse facts with your opinion, which is understandable, since you love Greensboro so much, and know so little about anything else.

If you go back to my original post, I never said Greensboro's was more beautiful. You implied that I did and then said you disagreed. It was only then I mentioned that Greensboro's station was more ornate in detail. But yes there are beautiful train stations all over the state and not being bias I think it is probably the top in my "opinion" maybe its just the architectural style.

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Could someone just nuke this thread and start over? I'd love to discuss the actual topic, but the OP turned into an excessively long, off-topic ramble and photo dump, and now we have a pointless city-vs.-city debate.

I'm thankful that the city made the investment to rehab the Depot and consolidate all train and bus service there. I believe that the Piedmont corridor is ripe for a much higher level of rail service than what currently exists or is planned. I can envision a future where the Depot is a more important transportation hub than PTI, and if that were to come to pass, it would have a transformative impact on downtown.

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5 hours ago, jthomas said:

Could someone just nuke this thread and start over? I'd love to discuss the actual topic, but the OP turned into an excessively long, off-topic ramble and photo dump, and now we have a pointless city-vs.-city debate.

I'm thankful that the city made the investment to rehab the Depot and consolidate all train and bus service there. I believe that the Piedmont corridor is ripe for a much higher level of rail service than what currently exists or is planned. I can envision a future where the Depot is a more important transportation hub than PTI, and if that were to come to pass, it would have a transformative impact on downtown.

Unfortunately the Boi is incapable of not succumbing to resurrecting a city vs city debate because he cannot overcome his passive aggressive posture toward the Camel City.  People who have not been active followers on this site for the last 8-9 years cannot truly appreciate the full & complete dialogue that has occurred regarding his exhausting need to have GSO be front & center regarding all aspects of this  site as well as other sites. He had a perfectly informative post on his city's train station and even incorporated earlier stations in GSO as part of the dialogue.  It was fully complete and was something that you, jthomas, as well as others could have enjoyed and found informative. But he just had to set up a compare and contrast situation with Winston's Union Station and to make sure to infer it to a smaller size, when the fact of the matter is that the Winston station is 3 stories in height, had part of its original structure destroyed when it was decommissioned as a train station and thus is not that much "smaller" than the Galyon station. And then when it is brought up, he gets all indignant & gets a persecution complex. It truly is sad. 

I too was bewildered by the photo dump of the Elm Street storefronts. Those should have been set up as a separate topic IMO to allow posters to weigh in on the particulars of that topic. Could have been a pretty vibrant thread.  It's great that both cities have invested in their vintage train stations and have them in a position to maximize the transportation potential sometime in the future.

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i dont see what the big fuss is about.. cityboi posts information about his city and sometimes that might include comparing it to the other cities in the area (thats only natural). It's up to someone in winston-salem to post more info/updates, if they so choose.. and if not, thats not his fault..

Edited by AlmaPinnix
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7 hours ago, AlmaPinnix said:

i dont see what the big fuss is about.. cityboi posts information about his city and sometimes that might include comparing it to the other cities in the area (thats only natural). It's up to someone in winston-salem to post more info/updates, if they so choose.. and if not, thats not his fault..

Agreed. The Greensboro vs Winston-Salem thing didn't happen until another poster brought it up.

Edited by cityboi

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2 hours ago, cityboi said:

Agreed. The Greensboro vs Winston-Salem thing didn't happen until another poster brought it up.

Says the Master of Deflection:tw_lol:

AlmaPinnix, there's no big fuss whatsoever. Just setting the record straight. One would think that a poster that has been identified by multiple posters over several years as being somewhat provocative regarding such contrast & compare tactics regarding neighboring cities would catch a clue & refrain, but no such luck.  The point is that this Galyon station thread didn't need any mention of Union Station in order to be a fully informative post.  That's the simple truth of the matter. 

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33 minutes ago, zalo said:

Says the Master of Deflection:tw_lol:

AlmaPinnix, there's no big fuss whatsoever. Just setting the record straight. One would think that a poster that has been identified by multiple posters over several years as being somewhat provocative regarding such contrast & compare tactics regarding neighboring cities would catch a clue & refrain, but no such luck.  The point is that this Galyon station thread didn't need any mention of Union Station in order to be a fully informative post.  That's the simple truth of the matter. 

Any poster can compare what they want. But the comparison in the original post did not say one was better or more beautiful than the other as the other poster tried to make people think I said.

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The point is if I were you with your history, I wouldn't compare. If you feel you're being misconstrued, then shut up about any comparison and no one can twist your words. 

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1 minute ago, zalo said:

The point is if I were you with your history, I wouldn't compare. If you feel you're being misconstrued, then shut up about any comparison and no one can twist your words. 

No the problem is people being thin skinned over any comparison and trying to make something out of it 

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2 hours ago, cityboi said:

Any poster can compare what they want. But the comparison in the original post did not say one was better or more beautiful than the other as the other poster tried to make people think I said.

And so you've admitted that you set it up as a comparison. I rest my case with the jury:tw_glasses:

Edited by zalo

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8 hours ago, zalo said:

Says the Master of Deflection:tw_lol:

AlmaPinnix, there's no big fuss whatsoever. Just setting the record straight. One would think that a poster that has been identified by multiple posters over several years as being somewhat provocative regarding such contrast & compare tactics regarding neighboring cities would catch a clue & refrain, but no such luck.  The point is that this Galyon station thread didn't need any mention of Union Station in order to be a fully informative post.  That's the simple truth of the matter. 

How long has these same arguments been made in these threads to no avail? There is a reason why most sensible people don't even post here.

You just need to accept the fact that you can't fix stupid.

 

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On 5/22/2019 at 11:42 AM, zalo said:

Says the Master of Deflection:tw_lol:

AlmaPinnix, there's no big fuss whatsoever. Just setting the record straight. One would think that a poster that has been identified by multiple posters over several years as being somewhat provocative regarding such contrast & compare tactics regarding neighboring cities would catch a clue & refrain, but no such luck.  The point is that this Galyon station thread didn't need any mention of Union Station in order to be a fully informative post.  That's the simple truth of the matter. 

boohoo

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