This material is used by permission of Ohio University Press, www.ohioswallow.com

  • Architects: Yost & Packard, Columbus
  • 1895
  • 379 West Broad Street
  • Renovation: Charles Nitschke, Columbus, 1978

One of the city’s most whimsical and unusual buildings, the Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad (T&OC) station, like other stations from its era, was designed not only for function, but also for delight, in order to impress both customers and the public. This station served as a passenger depot from 1895 to 1930, when the trains moved to Union Station and the Volunteers of America (VOA) took over the building. The City of Columbus presently owns the property, and is committed to its preservation. The T&OC, which connects Toledo and West Virginia, is part of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, and trains still rumble by the station every day. The station’s principal exterior feature is its distinctive tower. The centralized tower exists for the outward statement it makes; the carved stone panel on the tower’s north side identifies the building as “Ohio Central” in a lyrical font not uncommon for the late nineteenth century.  Dominating the station’s interior is a barrel-vaulted waiting room. The vault is composed of wooden ribs and pressed sheet metal panels with plaster bas-reliefs at either end. The original ticket office and window are on the waiting room’s west side.  The building lost its original tile roof and suffered much interior damage in a 1975 fire, but the VOA undertook a complete rehabilitation, including restoration of the waiting room.

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