Old bank to be converted to MARC snack bar

January 04, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

As early as next week, construction workers are to descend on an abandoned bank building in Odenton to restore it to the way it once looked and turn it into a snack bar for commuters at the nearby MARC train station.

But the only historical evidence they have to go by is what is left inside the 1917 concrete building in the 1400 block of Odenton Road; no photographs exist of what the Citizen's State Bank looked like nearly eight decades ago.

"The architectural details in the building have to be restored, such as the window frames and the basic layout," said Sally Shoemaker, the president of the Odenton Heritage Society. "Luckily, there is enough left behind to tell us what the interior looked like."

On Jan. 24, just two weeks into the renovation project, Gov. William Donald Schaefer is scheduled to visit as part of a state-wide tour to see how grant money is preserving historical sites.

The Heritage Society bought the 20-by-25-foot building last March for $12,500 and has been trying to secure state grants and loans for the renovation ever since.

The members had hoped for a $55,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation, but Ms. Shoemaker said there were too many restrictions on how the money could be spent.

Instead, the group settled for $15,500 from the state, which it got in return for granting an easement on the bank property to the Maryland Historical Trust, ensuring preservation for decades to come.

Ms. Shoemaker said the Heritage Society will use that money to help pay off $88,000 in loans it received to do the renovations, which could take until spring. The group just finished paying off a $12,500 loan to buy the building.

"We own the place free and clear," she said. "But now we will be in debt again."

The Heritage Society plans to use the bank as a headquarters for collections of Odenton memorabilia that center around the railroad. The society also plans to run a commuter breakfast stand.

The building, believed to be Odenton's first bank, has served as a concession stand, grocery store and storage shed, but hasn't been used in years.

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