Town purchases old train station for $1 after unanimous vote
By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Mon., Jul. 22, 2013
After decades of inactivity, the old Windsor Locks train station building may become a place of business again. On July 9, residents unanimously voted in favor of purchasing the historical building for $1, which is a significant accomplishment for the town and the Windsor Locks Preservation Association.
“The historic station, the train station itself, is part of the character of Main Street,” said First Selectman Steven Wawruck. “It was our calling card as passengers got on or off the trains back in the 19th and early 20th centuries.”
The town has been working towards revitalizing and moving the station back to its original location in the center of town for more than 30 years. With the town moving forward on their Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plans for Main Street, now is the “perfect” time to renovate and relocate the platform, according to Wawruck. He described the building as a “catalyst” for business growth, due to the foot traffic it will bring when the new commuter rail line goes into effect in 2016.
As the town begins to move forward with the project, it is working with Crosskey Architects to complete an analysis of the building. Windsor Locks used funds from a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant to hire the company, which conducted a variety of tests to determine the moisture level in the bricks, any hazardous materials such as lead, and overall condition of the building. The STEAP grant was allotted by the state in 2006 to contribute to the train station's preservation.
“The biggest thing right now is the structural integrity of the building, which seems to be adequate because it's like four courses of brick,” said Wawruck. “The outside facing the building is decaying, but when you go inside everything is intact.”