Middletown depot could become a national landmark

October 31, 2013 by  

The Big Four Depot, a 104-year-old train station, could be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The depot, which is located in Middletown, 17 miles from Fairfield, was nominated for the honor by the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Agency Board earlier this month.

The depot, which is on Charles Street and was finished in 1909, was built by the Big Four division, a part of the New York Central Railroad. The depot is a one-story, brick building with a roof of red tiles. Its construction was strongly influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement that was popular in the United States in the early years of the 20th century.

It also exhibits characteristics of the Prairie Style pioneered by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including beamed ceilings, bands of windows, walls trimmed with wood, and a fireplace. The mass of the building stretches in a horizontal direction and, as is common in Wright’s work, is low in height.

The building is the third to be located on the site. The first was built in 1872 and the second in 1884. The depot now houses a gift shop, since passenger service stopped in 1961.

Those buildings and sites proposed for listing on the National Register are nominated because they are significant in American archaeology, architecture, culture, engineering, and history.

The Board might consider working with brochure printers to create a handout to be placed at the site, describing its significance and encouraging support for the placement of the depot on the Register.