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Historical society, city renovate downtown’s Roundhouse

MADISON – A city icon is receiving attention to restore the structure so future generations can understand its pivotal role in Madison’s commerce.

Renovation work started on March 8 for the Roundhouse, standing at Front Street’s eastern end on the Village Green. Repairs and improvements are scheduled for completion in nine weeks.

“Madison Station Historical Preservation Society in partnership with the City of Madison undertook the renovation, applying a recently established agreement to share Roundhouse stewardship,” society member Charles Nola said. “Funds for the renovation were raised through public and private contributions, (along with) years of society fundraising.”

The Roundhouse was in critical need for renovation to return the structure to its postcard image for city residents and visitors. “When the original Roundhouse was built in the 1890s, the unusual octagon‐shaped landmark sat atop the well that supplied the town’s water. The building also served as the first City Hall of Madison,” Nola said.

The original Roundhouse was sold and dismantled circa 1938. The replica Roundhouse was built in 1986 by volunteers following the Madison Street Festival.

“The renovation was contracted to Killgore Homes LLC. Owner Scott Killgore worked closely with the society in selection of more economically viable and sustainable materials,” Nola said.

The Roundhouse makeover focused on exterior aesthetics and useability, including new air conditioning, siding, paint and windows. “The paint color of the original structure is not known. The updated color scheme ties into the downtown’s railroad history and is based on historic color for the Southern Railway in the late nineteenth century, which was a gold mustard color with green,” Nola said.

“This distinctive-looking scheme in bold colors reinforced the railroad’s brand identity, which was a new marketing practice at that time,” Nola said.

The work included demolition and removal of siding, followed by repair of exterior walls and installation of moisture barriers.

“Lap siding and column wrap will be installed,” Madison Station Historical Preservation Society President Debbie Overcash said. “Stairwell repair and exterior painting will follow. All replacement of interior electrical plugs and light switches will be done by society volunteers.”

The central charter of Madison Station Historical Preservation Society is awareness and preservation of the city’s history. “The society conducts various fundraising events with more popular ones being the Tour of Historical Homes in downtown, Christmas Tree Trail, Christmas Capers and downtown walking tours,” Nola said.

The society always welcomes new members to help with ideas and promotion of the historic district for everyone to enjoy. For more information, visit historicmadisonstation.com or madisonal.gov.

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