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Kingston Station June 97 Newsletter

Friends of Kingston Station, Inc.

Station News June 1997

Construction Is In Full Swing- For those ofyou that haven't had a chance to visit the station this spring, things are happening! The station was moved offits old foundation several months ago, a new foundation was poured, and the station has just made the journey to its new site. Utilities - water, sewer, electrical etc. have been installed through the foundation and in some cases laid under the new concrete basement floor. The parking area has had hundreds ofyards of new subgrade gravel imported, leveled, and cornpacted. Granite curbing is being installed along with the buried wiring for the parking lot lighting. Paving ofthe parking lot will strely be started soon. Shortly carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and painters will be swarming over the building to give it a complete firce lift. The project is scheduled to be completed in late fall, except for some plants in the landscape plan that must be transplanted in the spring. Join your editor - include a construction inspection visit to the station each Friday evening on your way out to a South County eatery with your spouse (or a friend).

New Colors! -Since the station is on the National Register ofHistoric Places it must be painted in a paint scheme that it historically wore. As part ofthe planning~ for the reconstruction, paint chips from the station were analyzed. The current blue and white exterior colors are not a historic paint scheme. Two old color combinations were revealed by the lab work.. The two color patterns historically used were: 1.) Three shades ofbrown and gray-brown. A lighter brown covered the main body with two shades ofdarker brown and gray-brown for the trim. 2.) The other combination, which has been selected for the refurbished station, is a medium yellow body with dark olive green trim around the window, doors, and other areas. Also, there is a third color, a sort of grayish pea green that will be restored to the bottom several feet ofthe station (under the windows). The yellow will be the dominant color. It is similar to the yellow ofthose "Post-it" sticky notes.

A small test of each color scheme was applied to the northeast corner of the station over the winter and can still be viewed by visitors. The Friends' Board ofDirectors were invited to provide counsel to RIDOT in selecting the final colors. Debate was lively among the Friends Board, and others in the community. Most people were not entirely happy with either choice. While the new colors will be a radical change, in time it will become the norm.

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State Seeks Station Site Manager/Developer - The RI Department of Transportation owns the station and most of the site around it. The State recognizes that it has a poor system (and reputation) for managing and maintaining buildings. Consequently the state has issued a Request For Proposals from anyone who would like to present a concept for using the site for conrmercial purposes and in the process be responsible for maintaining the station, parking areas, and grounds. The proposals must be compat~ble with both the Town's Comprehensive Comnnmity Plan and continued use ofthe site as an intermodal transportation facility. Basically, RIDOT is on a fishing expedition to see what sort ofcreative ideas are out there for a public/private partnership. The concept is somewhat controversial and will bear watching. The Friends of Kingston Station have been invited by RIDOT to play an advisory role in reviewing the proposals that are submitted. The Friends' Board of Directors are cautiously optimistic that a proposal will come forth that protects the character ofthe neighborhood, enhances the rail travel experience, and will result in a meticulously maintained station. We will keep you posted.

You are invited: Grand Re-oDenine Gals Event - The Friends of Kingston Station, in cooperation with RIDOT, Amtrak, and community organizations is planing a maior celebration for May 31, 1998. Plans are being made to have dignitaries, n~usic, and trains on hand for this event. The organi~ina committee is investigating the idea ofhaving a steamlocomotive meet one ofAm;trak's most modern trains at Kingston as part ofthe celebration ofthis 127 year old building! Entertainers, old cars, food, and other attractions are being ercplored. It should be a great day. but to get there we need your ideas and help. Lots oflogistical details rmst be worked out. Won't youjoin us in planning for this fun day? Please drop us a line, call David Whelan€ (783-4430) or seek out Jack McCabe at the Amtrak ticket o~ce to get on-board with planninn this event. It should be fun for all.

Historic Baeeaee Wagon beine restored - Last fall a local citizen donated to the Friends one ofthe wooden baggage carts used at the station years ago. Friends Board members David Whelan and Craig Stedman have disassembled the wagon and are meticulously restoring it. A local metal working shop is cleaninaj repairing and painting the metal parts. David and Craig are working on restoring the wooden deck and support structures to their original design. Once the station is restored, another smallpiece oflocal history will return home to the site ofits working dayls youth.

Membership Renewal Time - We rely on your continuing support to keep the Friends of Kingston Station alive and healthy. Won't you consider renewing your membership? Enclosed is a return membership renewal envelope for your convenience. Your support is truly appreciated


Friends of Kingston Station 1997 Board of Directors€ David Whelan - Chaimurn; Jack McCabe - Secretary; Steve Musen - Treasurer; Frank Heppner; Bemadette DeAcentis; Martha McCabe; Craig Stedinan; Stewart Schnieder; andEverett Stuart.