Another Reimagining Of The Railroad Shed

I can’t imagine my life without reading, nor can I imagine life without the music that follows us through the years. To this day a song can take us back to the high school dances when we first danced cheek to cheek. Ella Fitzgerald remains one of my favorites. A song of hers came to mind when I started to write this post. The song is called Imagination…..Imagination is funny, it makes a cloudy day sunny. This is the kind of relationship I have with Main Street. I go around willy-nilly seeing pieces of the revitalization puzzle fall into place. Last time I mentioned the Railroad shed, I filled it with fresh flowers to buy. This new idea is ‘more better.’

Never a realist but a Pollyanna at your service, I offer this vision, but someone else will have to figure out the important stuff: how are you going to get water and electricity to this shed that sits along the railroad tracks? My answer, “Please, would you figure that part out for me?”

This is a cropped New York Magazine cover that is a perfect visual for reimagining the Railroad Shed. The roof can be painted like this red and white striped awning. Beneath are tables and chairs where Spring through Fall weekends young and older can come free of charge. From time to time, there could be a service charge to listen to the Tar River Orchestra Jazz, or a comedy act, gospel singing, a storyteller festival, local singers. Let your imagination go and you will get the idea.

The landscaping can look like the above to create the feeling of enclosure. I love the trees and the hedging/rails that remind you of a Paris cafe. Fairy lights would twinkle on at dusk. The shed becomes a gathering spot of energy, not boisterous-loud, but fun. People living above the stores along Main Street will bring their drink of choice, maybe buy from a food truck and join friends. Parents and teenagers can enjoy an evening out together. I can picture one nice soul going a bit early to stake out a table. They will throw a table cloth down and light a candle as if picnicking or tailgating. When we finally get the Culinary School behind The Prime Smokehouse, perhaps they’ll train a group to offer a tasting or, or, or. Reasonably priced, there could be a corporate outing, a private gathering during the week. Smack-dab in the middle of historic downtown, this rusty shed becomes a charming, repurposed, area for the entire community to enjoy. May I even suggest that the Mission trips from the churches stay home next summer and converge on an organized effort waiting for them to make a difference at home. Making memories…let’s make some under the Railroad Shed.

PS: Treat yourself and listen to Ella sing, Imagination

9 thoughts on “Another Reimagining Of The Railroad Shed

  1. Hi Stepheny. I’ve said this before, but using the shed was nixed some years ago because it is too close to the tracks. I am thinking the idea you have could orient a space on the side AWAY from the tracks and work. Perhaps a 2nd tier of roofline, covering a ground-level patio as pictured, and steps between the two levels. All it takes is “a will and a way.”


  2. Only you could dream this up, but what a beautiful dream it is! I love this idea!!!
    Maybe the right person with money in hand will carry this idea through. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Main Street.


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