Former CSX train depot expected to move in December

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

After more than a year of an anticipated move of the old CSX train depot, it will finally happen.

Hamilton City Engineer Rich Engle said on Wednesday that Wolfe House & Building Movers had alerted their crews for an early December move.

“I’ll get together with them to get a more detailed schedule about when the actual move is going to occur,” Engle said.

Officials will need to close a portion of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, likely from Pershing to High Street, “to make sure we have a safe travel path for the buildings,” he said.

The company will move the two main structures of the former train depot ― a one-story and a two-story building — that was once a stop for several U.S. presidents, including Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhauer, and both Roosevelts.

The connecting structure between the two buildings has been demolished, and the floor of the two-story building has been removed. The floor removal in the one-story building should begin this coming week.

The plan is to move the two buildings about 1,000 feet north to a prepared pair of foundations at the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard Jr. and Maple Avenue. Wolfe House & Building Moving and LRT Restoration will do the brickwork to connect the structures to the new foundations, Engle said.

This project has been in the making since 2020, when the city heard that CSX wanted to demolish the historic train depot. Mayor Pat Moller wrote asking they consider selling it to the city. Some prominent city organizations, including the Hamilton Community Foundation and the Citizens for Historic and Preservation Services (CHAPS), supported the project.

After much debate, and figuring out a budget, the city committed to spending no more than $2 million on the project. Though as the project progressed, it appeared more money would eventually be needed, either spent by the city or whoever would purchase the buildings.

Once the structures are moved onto the new foundations, the buildings will be put into a “white box” condition where a restaurant, bar, or some other business could complete business-specific interior upgrades and occupy it.

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