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Panel approves restoration plans for B&O; Railroad Station Museum


The oldest railroad station in America will soon receive a face lift.

Plans to restore the Ellicott City B&O; Railroad Station Museum -- at Maryland Avenue and Main Street in the historic district -- to the way it looked when it opened in 1831 were approved recently by the Howard County Historic District Commission.

The commission governs development and architectural standards in the county's historic districts in Ellicott City and Elkridge.

If the restoration project -- which could begin in May -- receives approval from the Maryland Historic Trust, the museum could receive up to $410,000 in federal, state and private funds, enough to pay for the project, said Ed Williams, the museum's director.

The restoration plans include:

Replacing a basement-level window with a new wooden "ticket booth."

Relocating the railroad track that runs through the station and the caboose on the track to their original locations.

Relocating the main entrance.

The museum most likely will remain open during the restoration, which could last six months, Williams said.

The tourist attraction is known for its authentically attired living historians who re-create life in the station during the Civil War years.

Williams said the restorations will help the museum become "a major tourist attraction and economic development for the county."

"It'll be an attraction to a host of markets like railroad fans, and architectural and history buffs," he said.

Pub Date: 2/17/97

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