Holly’s Union Train Depot Among Finalists for American Express Restoration Grant

The Village of Holly’s 1886 Union Depot train station is one of 20 finalists from 19 states vying for shares of a $2 million American Express Partners in Preservation grant to help rehabilitate and transform the building into a welcome center touting Holly’s history.
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Holly Train Depot
Votes are needed to help Holly’s Union Depot train station secure restoration funding. // Photo courtesy of VoteYourMainStreet.org

The Village of Holly’s 1886 Union Depot train station is one of 20 finalists from 19 states vying for shares of a $2 million American Express Partners in Preservation grant to help rehabilitate and transform the building into a welcome center touting Holly’s history.

Grants from the fund will be distributed to support various projects, based on a public vote. Five votes a day can be cast for the Holly Union Depot until Oct. 29 at 11:59 p.m. The project receiving the most votes will get the largest grant. Nine finalists will receive lesser amounts. Votes can be cast at www.VoteYourMainStreet.org.

The Partners in Preservation program is focusing on sites rich not only in history but that also highlight women’s history.

“Holly has a rich history and the Union Depot was central to the important events that occurred in Holly for more than a century and most of them involved women,” says David Coulter, Oakland County executive. “Preserving the character of our historic buildings is so important to the health of our Main Street Oakland County communities and makes them the inviting places to live. I hope everyone will take a few moments every day to vote for the Holly Union Depot.”

To vote, users must login through Facebook or an authenticated email verification method. Individuals may not sign up or login using multiple emails or accounts. Users may cast five votes per day for the Holly Union Depot per voting session. Votes will be tallied to determine which project received the highest number of votes. Those top Main Streets will be awarded a combined $2 million in American Express funding for preservation projects.

As described by the Partners in Preservation program, the depot “was such a people place that over time, millions of travelers wore depressions in the floor as they waited to purchase tickets. In the course of its history, women also developed a strong connection to the depot. There, they distributed meals for soldiers, sent the men off to war, and welcomed them home. Of note, famous Prohibitionist Carry Nation arrived at the depot in 1908 and became known locally for her hatchet-wielding crusades against ‘demon-rum’ in nearby Battle Alley.”

Partners in Preservation was created by the National Trust and American Express to engage the public in preserving and increasing awareness of America’s historic places and their role in sustaining local communities. Since inception in 2006, the program has committed more than $25 million in support of more than 250 sites.

“The Holly Depot was not only an economic driver for the community but a place for social interactions to occur,” says Ron Campbell, a principal planner and preservation architect for Oakland County’s Planning Division. “Its preservation will once again allow it to fulfill its purpose and its place in history.”

An open house is set for Oct. 26 from 1-5 p.m. at the Union Depot, 223 S. Broad St. in Holly. Tours will be given of the historic building during the village “Hollyween” celebration in downtown Holly. In-person voting will take place then and visitors will receive a gift.

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