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The Architecture of Segregation

The old Montpelier railway depot in Virginia has recently been restored and opened to the public; what sets it apart from other similar buildings is that it has been restored with the segregated waiting areas and signs for ‘Coloreds’ and ‘Whites’ intact. A single ticket office served the two waiting rooms (the one for black people smaller than the one for whites), meaning the line of black people waiting to buy a ticket would have had to wait while the ticket seller turned away and served a white person at the white’s window. The restoration has stirred up mixed feelings in the community and a debate about whether restorations should always celebrate the positive, or whether it is equally (or  more) valid to also remember the more uncomfortable lessons from history.

Read the full article,  ‘Montpelier train station preserves the architecture of segregation’, in The Washington Post.


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