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Design in a small town part 5: OTT


As usual I left renewing my car tabs until the last possible minute which meant I had to visit the local licensing office. Oddly enough, in this town, it means a visit to an old train station.

With a name like 'Pullman' you can imagine there'd be a number of train stations laying about and that some (if not all) would be repurposed. Anyhow, I walked into the station to get my new tabs when, lo and behold, the place was decked out with pictures of old trains, the original schedule board and seating area, a huge clock, and even a mannequin dressed as a conductor. The windows for the DOL are the same ticket windows used for fifty years at the beginning of the last century.

I was standing there when the little wooden window shot up and the gentleman asked how he could help me. I responded, "I'd like a ticket for the 12:30 to Chattanooga." Then I proceed to laugh at myself while the bloke stared at me completely straightfaced. To save face I said, "oh, that's right. I am 60 years too late." He still didn't crack a smile.

Come to find out the gentleman owns the place. As you can see from the picture above he must have a love affair with trains. In front of the station you can see an actual passenger car and in front of that you can see a wooden engine that was built recently. Wait! A wooden train engine?

As with previous entries, design in a small town often mean lack of restraint (and building codes apparently). It is one thing to have the interior of place dressed to one's fetishes but to impose a large and awkward wooden structure that has little use is another.

But, as usual, the deeper significance is that little strange things like this structure are oddly what give small towns quirky charm. The best thing to do, then, is to sit back, wait, and see what other craziness pops up.
gregory turner-rahman