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Slowly but surely Stuyvesant restores its historic station

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Volunteer Richard Moran pointed out some of the features of the Stuyvesant Depot’s exterior, including a demonstration patch of finished and painted masonry as it would have looked in 1881. Photo by David Lee

STUYVESANT–After a couple of years of pandemic shutdown, dozens of hungry people turned out for a Father’s Day waffle breakfast fundraiser at the Stuyvesant Depot on Sunday morning, June 19.

Strawberries were provided by Samascott’s at wholesale cost, the cream for whipping was donated by Brian Chittenden of Dutch Hollow Farm and the eggs from the Burch family chickens.

The unique little building, which looks out across the tracks to the Hudson River, is one of the last of the old train stations still standing on the east side of the river. It has been a community project since it was purchased by the Town of Stuyvesant in 1996, providing a link to the town’s history.
The original train station was a wooden structure built by the Hudson River Railroad between 1848 and 1852, but it fell victim to a fire that destroyed more that 30 buildings in the town on May 13, 1880. Icehouses, mills, factories, hotels, homes and shops and the train station all burned. The current brick structure was immediately built and reopened in 1881.

Stuyvesant Depot was last used as a New York Central train station in 1958 after which it was abandoned and left to deteriorate. In 1996 the station was purchased by the town, and the Stuyvesant Railroad Station Restoration Committee began to raise money. Stabilization work began, and that year the building took its place on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

Most recently the attic has been insulated and brick repointing has begun. Showing some of the features of the building, volunteer Richard Moran said, “Our immediate goal is to finish repointing interior and exterior.”

He explained that because the handmade bricks were irregular, they were painted with a brick colored wash and outlined with black lines on the interior and white lines on the exterior for a cleaner look. Mr. Moran said that a grant from the GE Hudson River cleanup funded the restoration of the slate roof.

According to Marilyn Burch, co-chair of the Restoration Committee, “Our [long-term] goal is not to renovate but to restore the building so that it will look as it did in 1881 when it was brand new.”

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