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Contractors find historic bricks buried under gravel lot

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    LAWRENCE, Kansas (KCTV) — A restoration project at a Kansas train station uncovered buried treasure … sort of.

The renovations have been going on for several years at the old Santa Fe Depot, now an Amtrak stop, in East Lawrence.

The station was built in 1955 and is considered one of the best examples of mid-century modern architecture in the area.

Carey Maynard-Moody led a successful effort to transfer ownership of the station to the city a few years ago in order to fully restore the building.

Lawrence loves its history and it’s very proud of its history,” Maynard-Moody said.

The renovated building is remarkably intact for its age, with working heated floors, a corrugated glass ticket window and flying-saucer-shaped light fixtures.

Contractors started the next phase in the project this spring, planning a new parking lot and restoration of the fountain outside the depot.

Dave Cronin, a city engineer, said that was when workers uncovered a piece of history dating back to the 1880s, when the original freight station was built.

Buried beneath several inches of brick was another layer of brick and mortar.

“It looks to be part of an old freight building that likely was there prior to this depot,” Cronin said.

The city paused the project to learn more about the brick and to come up with a way to possibly implement it into the design of the new lot.

“It’s important that we look for ways to preserve history in projects,” Cronin said.

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