SETHRA Train Depot
Hefferlin + Kronenberg Architects was contracted to complete a renovation of the Cleveland Southern Railway Depot for the Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency (SETHRA). SETHRA’s mission is to “empower families, moving them from dependence to independence, by providing comprehensive services in collaboration with local, state, and federal resources.” Providing transportation to those in need is one of the many services offered by SETHRA. The Southern Railway Depot, located in Cleveland,Tennessee, serves as a transfer hub between bus transportation lines in the region.
The Depot, which was built in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, was used as a passenger station along the Southern Railway from 1911 until 1970. For nearly 3.5 decades, the Depot was used as a freight office for Norfolk Southern and was abandoned in 2004. Over the years, many additional interior walls were built, dropped ceilings were added in most areas, much of the original hardwood floors were covered with linoleum tile, and a covered porch at the end of the depot was enclosed and converted into offices and a workshop.
The Depot was restored following the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation. All non-Historic elements were removed: the original 14’ tongue and groove wood ceilings and crown molding were exposed, the covered porch was restored to its original state, hardwood floors were restored, exterior windows and doors were restored or replaced to match existing, the brick façade was cleaned and repaired, roof eaves and brackets were repaired and repainted, and a new entrance driveway and landscaping were provided.
The program elements for the redesigned Depot included a waiting area with ticket counter, office space for SETHRA employees, restrooms, and a kitchenette and break room for employees and SETHRA’s bus drivers. Included in the waiting area is an exhibit / museum space which will feature the history of the Cleveland Depot and the Southern Railway System. These elements were arranged in such a way that many of the original interior walls were kept. Any new walls, which were designed to match the existing, were located so that they would not interfere with any existing exterior windows or doors.