Developers in Ormond Beach, Florida, have converted 80-year-old train cars as part of the décor of its Wellington Station Condominium clubhouse. The Daytona News Journal reports the Bamboo Grove, "an observation lounge car, had a bar area that included a canopy supported by bamboo poles, a fake palm tree and coconut shell masks."
It was designed to run on a seven-car train in the 1940s from Miami to Chicago in half the normal time. The train, called the City of Miami, was also designed to help the train line pick up business, according to train historian William Howes.
Now the car is on its way to becoming a work of art. Painter and sculptor Don Stephens, of Cherokee Welding, is working to the restore the exterior of the train car, noting he appreciates the historical significance of the train cars, which were discovered by the developers when they purchased a piece of property to build its latest development. "To me it's more of an art. It's just a labor of love," Stephens said.
The paper's web site reports: "In 1940, Railway Magazine stated that the designs for both the interior and exterior 'typify Florida's vibrant colors and tropical background.' The outside was orange, palm green, and scarlet. The interior included Florida scenes and palm designed draperies."
The condo association hopes to restore the interior of the car to original condition, according to Kathy Kopacz, vice president of the condominium association's board of directors.