Boca Raton’s Train Depot Will Endure as a Place to Teach Children History
Did you know Boca Raton had a Train Museum? According to The Sun Sentinel, Boca Raton’s train museum will remain a destination for kids to learn about history, thanks to new owners who plan to preserve it.
Longtime supporter Holly Meehan and her mother, Donna Zoley, stepped up to buy the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum’s Train Depot.
The purchase, for close to the $2.4 million value, will save two restored 1947 rail cars, a 1930 steam engine, and an unused caboose on the grounds. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“I drive by five times a day,” Meehan said of the 1.3-acre property at 747 S. Dixie Highway. “It’s such an amazing building, I wanted to see it come alive.”
Also according to The Sun Sentinel, Sitting along a half-block just north of Camino Real, the former 1930s train depot is used for meetings by nonprofits like the Kiwanis Club.
Plans call for preserving the society’s Boca Express Train Museum program for 1,000 schoolchildren each year. As part of a history lesson, kids dress up in vintage railway passenger costumes to learn how the railroad influenced Boca’s history.
The building on the grounds will probably be gutted, with a patio and plenty of parking. Plans call for using the venue for smaller-scale events and performances. Raising the money for renovations will come next, Meehan added.
Sale or lease signs went up on the property nearly two years ago, when the society could no longer afford the upkeep. “This wasn’t an easy decision for us,” said Mary Csar, executive director. “We were concerned about what would happen to the property and wanted something the community could still enjoy.”