I’ve been photographing abandoned and neglected Vermont properties since 2011. This year I’ve been revisiting some of these properties to find out if anything has changed. A few have found better fates, but the majority remain vacant and neglected.
The Fair Haven Depot is located just outside the center of Fair Haven. The train depot is on the Clarendon & Pittsford Rail line, formerly owned by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, and now owned by Vermont Rail System (VRS). Until 2010, Amtrak stopped at this depot, though the stop was not inside the building. Passengers waited in a small shelter across the street. The building was surveyed in the 1980s by the Vermont Historic Sites & Structures Survey, at which time it was vacant and not used as a passenger station. That’s 30+ years ago. From what I’ve learned, the railroad is not responsive to any town or historical society attempts inquiring about the building.
Additionally, the 1930s concrete bridge that leads to the depot has been closed for a few years. There is another way around and not much traffic, so they fate of this bridge does not look good.
Interested in a walk around the depot with me? Read on.
Something about this building breaks my heart. It must be my fondness for railroad depots. Depots are such valuable buildings to communities: transportation hubs, meeting places, often architectural gems in the town. Railroad buildings were built to last. There are many success stories of railroad buildings throughout Vermont.
What a shame that the railroad neglects its history and its beautiful, historic buildings throughout Vermont and the rest of the United States? Restoring a railroad depot always benefits the community – socially and economically and in all realms.
Do you have a similar story from your community? What advice can you offer? I’d love to know. This depot deserves to be saved. Have some thoughts? #savethefairhavendepot
10 thoughts on “Revisiting an Abandoned Vermont property: Fair Haven Depot”
Ouch. Do you think the spalling and mortar failure is primarily due to rising damp from the splashback and groundwater that runs from the hill into the foundation, or is there a bad repointing job responsible as well. I was looking at the enlarged images but it’s hard to tell!
Good question, Daniel. I think it’s accumulated damage from the past few decades, mostly water that runs down the adjacent hill into the foundation. And splashback from that concrete “gutter” on the ground. Could be some sub-par repairs, too.
What a charming old building. Interesting that someone has made the effort to paint the doors and windows that are covered in plywood? I hope this beauty receives some attention soon, as you so clearly portray there is much damage already.
I think the historical society painted the plywood, maybe garnering hope while waiting for the RR to respond.
That would make sense.
Its neglect is strikingly sad and its age lends it a certain beauty that makes me wish even more that it weren’t crumbling like it is now
I agree. So sad.
I used to live just down the block from that building and waited for the Amtrak there quite a few times. A bit of a shock to see how badly it (and the bridge!) have fared in the past 10+ years….
I do have some older photos from about ’03-’05 ish if you’d like to see the building in a bit better shape.
I’d love to see photos! Please send them if you can!
http://fran-web.net/Photo/Temp/ The bulk of these are from 2004 (and my old, not so good camera, my apologies there!) Not the best collection, but gives a bit of an idea at least, of how the years have not been kind to that poor building.