Martinsville Bulletin: Train Depot key piece to Bassett plans


Bulletin photo by Mickey Powell: Henry County Planning, Zoning and Inspections Director Lee Clark shows a drawing of a “downtown square” and green space planned for development near the historic former Bassett Train Depot.MICKEY POWELL | Bulletin Staff Writer

MICKEY POWELL | Bulletin Staff Writer

The restoration of the historic former Bassett Train Depot will be a key part of efforts to revitalize the factory town’s business district, according to those involved in the efforts.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced last week that that the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state agency that helps fund community and economic development efforts in localities in and near the Appalachian Mountains, will provide Henry County a $500,000 grant toward restoring the depot.

The money will be coupled with donations from Bassett Furniture Industries and the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. to assist with the restoration, said county Planning, Zoning and Inspections Director Lee Clark.

A new roof recently was installed on the depot “to help preserve what we have,” said Jeb Bassett, senior vice president for Bassett Furniture’s wooden furniture division.

“We hope to make a lot of improvements” to the building in the coming months, Clark said.

Planned improvements, Clark said, include repairing or replacing 32 windows and six entrance doors; repairing 12 large sliding dock doors that add “tremendous character” to the depot; priming, painting and repairing exterior brick and wood trim; installing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning in the depot’s lower portion; building two restrooms accessible to disabled people and replacing a large, deteriorated wooden deck at the loading dock.

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