MOUNT VERNON — It was a perfect backdrop for current projects at Ariel Foundation Park. An oldies station was spinning The Byrds’ classic version of the folk melody “Turn! Turn! Turn!” that an inspired Pete Seeger had paired with lyrics from the Book of Ecclesiastes: “To every thing there is a season ... A time to break down and a time to build up ... a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together.”
Last Friday, as if cued by the music, the historic Cleveland, Akron and Columbus Railroad Depot at South Main Street and Columbus Road was being built up with a nostalgic look and modern purpose. A stone’s throw away, the massive old PPG Plant was being broken into industrial sculpture.
The facilities were placed in service within months of each other during the 20th century’s opening decade, and thanks to the foresight of the City of Mount Vernon and vision of the Ariel Foundation Park Conservancy, both may have their brightest days ahead. Conservancy member Michael Percy — insurance man by day, stickler for detail and railroad aficionado 24/7 — directs the depot’s reanimation.
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