J. Douglas Galyon Depot
The J. Douglas Galyon Depot was built in 1927 in Greensboro, North Carolina. It replaced another train depot that was located at 400 S. Elm Street. The depot was in operation until 1979. It was then donated by Southern Railway to the city. The depot was restored by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and reopened in 2003. It now serves as a bus station and in 2005 started using the depot once again.
Backstory and Context
The J. Douglas Galyon Depot was built in 1927 by a New York firm who specialized in train stations. The building, which has a neoclassical style, replaced an earlier depot that was located at 400 S. Elm Street. When the depot was built it was the biggest and most elaborate station to ever be built in North Carolina. Around 90 trains passed through the depot in Greensboro each day.During segregation, white passengers would enter the depot through a large arched entrance. Once inside there were enough wooden benches to seat 1,000 passengers. African Americans who traveled through the depot had to enter into a separate and smaller waiting room located in the west wing. At some point in their travels, blacks and white travelers would briefly mingled while on the boarding platforms. The conductors then directed the African Americans to the separate coaches.
As cars and airplanes became a more popular way of traveling after World War II, less people used trains. The Amtrak Crescent was the only train to pass through the depot by 1979. The train depot closed later the same year. Southern Railway donated the depot to the city who rented out it out for social events and conferences. A teen center was also established at the depot.
In 2003 the depot was reopened as a transportation center after the North Carolina Department of Transportation restored it. In October 2005 Amtrak trains returned to the depot. It is also used as a bus station. The restored depot was named after Douglas Galyon, Chairman of the North Carolina Board of Transportation. Galyon spent more than 30 years being actively involved in Guilford County business, civic and political life.