A missing piece of the downtown puzzle is being put in place by the North Carolina Railroad Company.

The old Southern Railway passenger station at 400 S. Elm St., owned by the Norfolk Southern Railroad, is being sold to the North Carolina Railroad Company in partnership with the City of Greensboro, the Preservation Greensboro Development Fund and Downtown Greensboro Inc.

The Southern Railway built what is believed to be Greensboro’s second passenger station in 1899, and it sits just north of the railroad tracks on South Elm Street.  The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for federal and state historic preservation tax credits.

The North Carolina Railroad according to a press release, “plans a major restoration that will bring back the 123-year-old station’s original grandeur.”

And there is a lot of grandeur to bring back.  The building includes granite from Mt. Airy, elaborately patterned brickwork, dormer windows topped with finials, a clay tile roof and a three-story turret overlooking South Elm Street.

President and CEO of the North Carolina Railroad Company Carl Warren said, “The North Carolina Railroad Company is proud to play a part in preserving and revitalizing this historic landmark.  We’re always looking for opportunities for the railroad to improve the lives of the people of North Carolina.”

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “Preservation of structures that exist within our gateways should demonstrate the integrity of our community. This structure sits in the middle of our vibrant downtown. With tremendous leadership of the North Carolina Railroad, we have an opportunity to bring it back to its original luster, making it something we can all be proud of.”

Railroads not roads were what earned Greensboro the moniker Gate City.

This Southern Railroad passenger terminal was replaced in 1927 with what is now the Doug Galyon Depot on West Washington Street, which has undergone extensive renovation.