Everglades City Railway Depot faces prospect of demolition

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

The iconic center of Everglades City faces destruction because Collier County is looking to demolish the historic Everglades City Railway Depot, built in 1928.

Some people don’t want to see the building go because they think back on the good times they had there. They have pride in the city’s history and want to preserve Everglades City. In response, a petition drive is underway to save the old Rail Depot.

“The building should be torn down, there ain’t nothing left of the depot at all,” said Everglades City resident Kent Daniels.

Everglades City
Old Railway Depot building. CREDIT: WINK News

Daniels believes fixing the old building is not what the people need in 2023.

“I think affordable houses should be put in. There’s a lot of families that cannot afford this high price of living,” said Daniels. “Give them a place to live. We still got to have our restaurants. We still got to have our workers.”

Hurricane Ian is part of the reason the roof partially collapsed, docks got destroyed and caused considerable amounts of water damage.

Carolyn Thompson moved to Everglades City in 1947. She owns the Win-Car Hardware and General Store.

“I hate to see it go, but I realize that it’s so expensive to repair it and to bring it up to code,” said Thompson.

Thompson has many unforgettable memories at the old depot.

“We used to have some of the best meals there. Especially on Sunday, and it was so good because everybody after church would go there to eat,” said Thompson, “and then we were all sitting in a dining room visiting with everybody. You know, we knew everybody.”

The mayor of Everglades City told WINK News demolition isn’t the next step. First, the city will file another code violation. That could pave the way to eventual demolition.

Click here to learn more about the Save the Everglades City Depot project.

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