Local, state and federal officials joined civic boosters Friday morning to celebrate groundbreaking for the renovation of the Kingsburg Depot, a project that's been in the works for more than 10 years.
Leaders of Friends of the Historic Kingsburg Depot say that since 2007 they've received more than 1,600 private donations toward preserving the depot. The project got a lift in 2012 when the Fresno Council of Governments board approved more than $1.1 million in federal funding.
The historic depot will undergo a refurbishment project to restore the building to its original 1923 style.
The depot, on California Street just south of Draper Street, was built in 1876 in Monson, a Tulare County community, and moved to Kingsburg in 1902 to replace the original train station, which was destroyed by fire.
The last passenger train runs ended in 1968. It was last used in 1988 as a freight station, and the Union Pacific Railroad sold it to the city of Kingsburg in 2005.
The prospects to save the depot appeared dim in 2008 when architects said the decaying building -- sunlight peeked through holes in the roof and moss grew atop spots -- probably would not survive many more winters, restoration campaign chairwoman Jolene Polyack said.
A new roof was built in the fall of 2009 thanks to fundraising and donated work from Fresno Roofing Co., buying time for renovation plans, Polyack said.