We’re excited to announce the next stage of the PIONEER PROJECT.
The Main Street Market (aka the old Hogansville Train Depot).
Papers were just signed, signatures made and handshakes shaken. The depot is now part of the Pioneer Project!
This is a big project. REALLY big. This building has a full commercial kitchen, a period-authentic bar, several communal spaces, acres of land, and FIVE RAIL CARS (two of them over 100 years old!)
The depot is around 115 years old. Tons of history. When it was created, it was the largest station between Atlanta and Montgomery. The original Pioneer, Hogan himself, was responsible for the depot being created. He knew by insisting on a train depot at this stretch of rail, it would create a center of commerce—and that became the town of Hogansville.
So what’s the plan?
The exciting thing about the depot is that it holds so many interesting spaces and possibilities. Imagine the depot turning into a Main Street Market. Still imagining? Good, let’s take a walk through what the depot could become.
Here we have the alleyway between the depot and this ancient stone wall. This outdoor area could become the perfect setting for a monthly market.
Nice Veranda, great spot to sit and sip a latte.
Local vendors, fresh produce, cheeses, handcrafted items. This is the place to go if you want to find local goods and highly curated crafts.
Look at this example:
We have three spacious rooms (that need a paint scheme update). What could these be?
How about a cafe in the front room? Big farm style tables. Outdoor seating available under the front pavilion. Excellent local coffee.
But isn’t it super hard to operate a successful cafe? Especially in a small town?
Yes. That’s why this cafe needs to have several different revenue streams. Breakfast biscuits. Wine and beer in the evenings—with live music. A marketplace that offers a good sampling of local goods. Books. Records.
This isn’t just a cafe, but also a center of commerce. Another thing, there is a ton of traffic that passes just a few yards away from this cafe. Highway 29 is a heavily trafficked state route.
The center room would be perfect to place a long community table, for social gatherings.
A key point to stress here is that the depot won’t be just ONE MODEL. Its success won’t ride on the success of the cafe… or the restaurant, or the events space. It will be a series of businesses, ideas, partnerships. As traffic grows for one business, it helps all the businesses out. Rising tides lift all ships.
Continuing into the space we have THE PUB.
Look at this place. It exudes character.
The last thing we would want in here is a sports bar type atmosphere—loud TVs, blaring music. We want a true Irish Pub feel. The kind of place people feel comfortable stopping by and talking about the latest news about town.
Book readings, board game gatherings, a conversation-friendly Public House. This type of atmosphere is created by one thing and one thing only—the right purveyor. (Looking for friendly Irishman.)
Here’s an authentic Irish Pub. Tons of history and texture. A true communtiy gathering point.
Moving on, we come to the faux train car.
This could serve as a bazaar, indoor display case or seating for additional diners or the restaurant.
Turning left, we come to the MAIN DINING ROOM.
Large space. We’re thinking it should be emptied out, simplified, brightened and combined with this room:
It could serve as an excellent event space. (That small doorway you see opens to the bar.)
Eventually, someone will come in and operate some sort of very special, very unique restaurant out of the full-size commercial kitchen.
Full Commercial Kitchen
Imagine quality, unique food being served in this space. It would be a draw for miles around, as this is the only depot of its kind in the region, serving great food in a comfortable atmosphere. After dinner, take a walk through the marketplace.
Until then, the events that could be hosted here would be one-of-a-kind. You’ve got the patina of an 116-year-old train depot, combined with a charming bar and all sorts of photogenic little nooks and corners.
Stairs (on left) lead up to the loft.
Up the stairs past the pub.
There’s a really great loft space—still unfinished. This can either become lodging or an artist’s loft. Painters, potters, and sculptors can work out of this hidden area—but with handy access to the cafe and pub.
Multi-use artist space in the loft.
Moving outside, we have… the train cars.
The green ones are pre-WWI (1914) and the silver ones are from the 1940s.
The imagination can run wild with ideas for what can be done in a train car.
Studio? AirBnB? Cafe/bistro?
Instead of a food truck, how about a food train?
Look at the example renovated rail cars:
The truth is, these railcars will require an enormous amount of work to renovate, so we’re looking for people to partner with to make these rail cars into something special. If you’ve always dreamed of living, working, or eating out of a railcar, let us know!
Past the train cars, there are several acres that can be used as a city garden or even a community of tiny homes made from shipping containers.
These small, energy efficient and affordable dwelling spaces will be perfect for artists-in-residence.
We’re dreaming big…
BUT, we can’t do it alone. The secret to this becoming a success is many people plugging in their diverse dreams and passions into the space. With a spirit of collaboration, this could be an exciting community center full of art, creativity, commerce, and hospitality. This could be something unique, something Hogansville could be proud to call its own.
What can you do?
If you have any interest in getting involved on the ground floor of this project, shoot us an email. Sign up for our email list so you can news of the next steps.