‘Shocking’: Abbeville loses historic depot on last-minute decision by CSX

By ADAM BENSON abenson@indexjournal.com

ABBEVILLE — As a CSX cargo train rumbled through Abbeville on Tuesday morning, it streaked past a construction crew working to dismantle a 128-year-old depot that stood as testament to the town’s rich railroad heritage.

It also marked a particularly cruel bit of irony for historic preservationists, who allege that executives with the Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad pulled a dramatic about face — opting to raze the building after promising just days earlier they’d hold off so volunteers could find it a new home.

A phone call to CSX seeking comment was unreturned as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“It was a sad testimony to the lack of communication and presumptuousness of one of the largest corporations that operates in South Carolina not willing to engage a community in a productive and inclusive way to ensure their decisions were not detrimental to the history of the community,” Mike Bedenbaugh, executive director of the South Carolina Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this.”

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