CITIZEN MENU

HOME PAGE
Top News 
LOCAL DIGEST

COVERING:
Laconia/Gilford
Meredith
Northern Lakes
Plymouth Area
Bristol
Newfound Lakes
Tilton/Franklin
Belmont/Alton
Gilmanton
Barnstead
More . . .

STATE NEWS
SPORTS

Scores
Photos
College
High School
Names & Games
Community
Columnists
Pros

OBITUARIES
VITAL STATS

Police Logs
Fire Logs
Court Logs
Real Estate
Births
DWI
Indictments

CALENDAR
COMMUNITY

Correspondents
People in News
Worth Noting

TV LISTINGS
LOTTERIES
HISTORY TODAY
CONTACT INFO

Who to call
Phone Numbers
E-Mails
Feedback

FOSTER'S MENU

Fosters Home
Seacoast Digest
ME State/Local
Sports
Business
Obituaries
Commentary

 

  Friday, January 26, 2001
Last stop for old rail station

By VICTORIA GUAY

Staff Writer

LACONIA ó "It looks like time has run out for the Lakeport Railroad Station," said Don Leavitt, current co-owner of the station along with Don Miller.

The business duo have owned the station since 1992, when they planned to incorporate the circa 1900 former Boston and Maine train station into a renovation plan for Kimballís Castle.

The Laconia Airport Authority contacted Miller and Leavitt this summer, giving them a deadline of Aug. 31 for the stationís removal, but the deadline was extended several times. The last extension was to Jan. 31, 2001, after which the Authority requested the city take action if the owners failed to do so.

"Itís supposed to be destroyed by the end of the month," said Interim City Manager Eileen Cabanel.

Cabanel said there had been some interest in the building, but it was discovered this month that if the structure was moved it would probably fall apart.

"They discovered if they wouldíve picked up the structure, it wouldíve fallen apart because itís been out there so long," Cabanel said of the structure which has been roofless and exposed to the elements for nine years.

"We had a number of interested parties, but none of them stepped forward in time," Leavitt said. "Itís a shame to lose the building but we had an agreement with the Airport Authority and it will be destroyed on February 1," Leavitt said.

Miller and Leavitt have signed a contract with Spears Brothers, who will move and destroy the structure by the end of the month. A private group that Spears Brothers has contracted with will remove the asbestos shingles that are on overhangs covering two wings of the station.

Wanda Tibbetts, president of the Lakeport Community Association, said that her group was given permission by the owners and city to take anything it wanted from the station before it is demolished.

The Lakeport Community Association still plans to renovate the abandoned Windoor building, which was formerly the freight depot at the Lakeport Station, into a museum/community center.

Tibbetts said she was told by the city that they will have the building; however, whether or not they will have to move the Windoor building rests with the state and their final plans for the Elm Street Bridge Project, a project that entails re-aligning Elm Street.

Tibbetts said members of the Association worked during the end of last week to remove wainscoting, beams, window casings, doors and wall sections.

"We want to be able to say these walls came from the old railroad station," Tibbetts said.

"It is still a still pretty good wooden structure," Tibbetts said, who added that she was surprised the inside wasnít in more of a dilapidated condition considering the building sat outside exposed to the elements with no roof for a number of years.

In its effort to restore the Windoor building, the Association has raised nearly $5,000. Fund-raising efforts have included a neighborhood calendar, yard sales and even charging $1 to all who attend association meetings.

Tibbetts said the Association hopes to work with the vocational center at Laconia High School and the New Hampshire Technical College to have some of the restoration work done.

"They might like to work on the building to see how they did things 100 years ago," Tibbetts said.

p p p

Victoria Guay can be reached by calling 524-3800 ext. 5930 or e-mail vguay@citizen.com.   

 

 

 

© 2000 Geo. J. Foster Co.