Hamilton building named among most endangered historic sites for 2021

Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller and others want to save the historic CSX station and move it elsewhere, but he is concerned the railroad is preparing to tear it down. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller and others want to save the historic CSX station and move it elsewhere, but he is concerned the railroad is preparing to tear it down. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Preservation Ohio, a non-profit organization that calls itself the state’s oldest statewide historic preservation organization, today listed Hamilton’s CSX station, formerly the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton depot, among its 11 most endangered buildings for 2021.

Hamilton City Council and city staff in recent weeks have been struggling with the issue of whether, and how, to save the station. The estimated cost of moving the station about two blocks north along Martin Luther King Boulevard and placing it on a concrete base is $600,000. But that would not include the costs of renovating the building, and officials do not know how the building might be used.

One possible use is as parking and bathroom facilities that Amtrak is considering placing in Hamilton, along with Oxford, on its route from Cincinnati to Indianapolis and Chicago.

But if used for that, the proposed station at that location would be about two blocks from the tracks leading from Cincinnati to Indianapolis, which separate from other northbound CSX tracks where the station now is located. The tracks bound for Indianapolis veer westward along Sycamore Street and Symmes Park and cross the Great Miami River near Hamilton’s police headquarters and on the west side of the city roll over the arched bridge at B Street.

Hamilton officials have been exploring other locations for the station.

City Manager Joshua Smith noted, “Hamilton City Council and staff have been trying to determine an acceptable path forward to preserve the historic train depot.”

“We appreciate the different historic preservation groups that are highlighting this structure,” he added. “Our staff continues to explore innovative ways to relocate the structure and identify funding sources to initially secure the depot and to ultimately place it in a condition where it can find an appropriate user.

“Hamilton is fortunate to have a rich inventory of historic structures. The continued challenge is how do we, either ourselves or in partnership, continue to maintain them in a respectful manner into the future?”

Here’s what Preservation Ohio had to say about the Hamilton station:

“The format train depot built by the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton railroad in 1865, and expanded by the Baltimore & Ohio in 1888, used by Amtrak up until 2004. The building has deteriorated since closing and is in need of attention. This is the last depot left in Hamilton after the demolition of the Pennsylvania RR station in 1990.”

Proponents in Hamilton have collected more than 1,700 signatures in favor of saving the station near where presidents Lincoln, Eisenhower and Truman spoke. The CHAPS (Citizens for Historic and Preservation Services of Butler County) board of directors also has urged its preservation.

ExploreHamilton City Council postpones vote on saving historic CSX train station

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