A landmark 19th century railroad passenger station in Beaver is undergoing $1.1 million in renovations, inside and out. The Beaver Area Heritage Foundation has awarded construction contracts.
Work at the brick and stone building now known as the Beaver Station Cultural & Events Center includes preservation of original stained glass windows, redstone archways, terrazzo tile floors, woodwork and brass fixtures. The Beaver Area Heritage Foundation has awarded construction contracts, which also cover work on mechanical systems.
Earlier this year, work was done on the slate roof, copper gutters and window wells on the lower level.
L. C. Renninger Group of Beaver is managing construction. Pfaffmann + Associates is project architect. Successful bidders were Advanced Mechanical and Plumbing, R. E. Yates Electric and Arcon Contracting for finishing.
More than $1.8 million in support of the project has come from 198 private and public donors, said David O’Leary, chairman of the Beaver Station steering committee. The total includes grants from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The 8,500-square-foot building was built in 1897; Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad owns and operates it. When the railroad stopped using it, it was turned over first to Beaver County and then to Beaver Borough.
In 2010 Beaver officials set up a 99-year lease on the building with the Heritage Foundation. In 2013 the Heritage Foundation purchased the property.
The goal was always to get tenants into the building and eventually to make it available for weddings, parties and other events.
In July, the first tenant, Beaver County Genealogy & History Center, moved in, Mr. O’Leary said. A branch of Sewickley’s Sweetwater Center for the Arts is expected to follow soon.
Additional donations are being sought for some “finishing touches,” Mr. O’Leary said, including paving and landscaping.
The former railroad passenger station is next to a restored freight station that has been operating since 1998 as the Beaver Area Heritage Museum. Both stations are on East Avenue, just off Beaver’s main street and business district.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Linda Wilson Fuoco: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1953.