SPENCER, N.C. – The N.C. Transportation Museum received some positive, much-anticipated news as the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources announced receipt of $2,159,500 from the General Assembly for the restoration and preservation of the Museum’s Power House, which will complete an important phase in the Back Shop restoration project.
The Power House, which once generated electricity for the entire Spencer Shops facility, is being restored both to preserve the unique structure and the historic generators and machinery it houses, and as a component of the Back Shop Complex restoration. Once completed, the building will have exhibit areas on its original uses, and house the heating and cooling units for the Back Shop.
“Restoration of the Power House will provide the public insight into the industrial heritage that made the central part of North Carolina so important to the state’s economic growth,” says Elizabeth Smith, N.C. Transportation Museum Executive Director. “I am pleased to see the General Assembly providing the funds to move forward with this project.”
Work began on the Power House in 2006 with hazardous material abatement and removal of the collapsing roof. This new funding will complete the renovations, including replacing the roof, supports to meet seismic requirements, new door and windows, and masonry repairs.
“The Division of State Historic Sites and Properties is delighted to have these funds for the North Carolina Transportation Museum,’ says Keith Hardison, Division Director of Historic Sites and Properties. “It will allow us to complete the preservation and restoration of the Power House, which was the energy center for the historic railroad complex and a key component of the Back Shop transportation exhibition and education center.”
Completing the Power House will move the Back Shop Complex restoration into its final phase—interior construction in the Back Shop followed by exhibit installation. A schedule of work has not yet been established, but museum officials hope to see the Power House complete within 18-24 months.
For more information about the N.C. Transportation Museum and the Back Shop Complex restoration project, call 704-636-2889, toll-free at 1-877-NCTM-FUN, or visit www.nctrans.org
.The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility for steam locomotives, is part of the Division of State Historic Sites, Department of Cultural Resources.