by Peter Brill
October 4, 2021
Of course, the big news was the scrapping of three GE’s, No. 1 and the two ex-SP U-Boats.
After almost two decades of fires, not to mention deterioration caused by exposure to the elements, the former O&W Middletown station is again the subject of a major renovation project designed to restore it to a viable commercial status. The cost of restoration is estimated at $7,000,000 to $7,500,000 plus an additional $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 to remodel areas of the station for “new functions”. Demolition of the building is estimated to cost $1,500,000.
Proponents of the project include Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther who has “secured” $2,000,000 for the project in the current New York State budget and Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano who is advocating spending $3,000,000 of Middletown’s $11,300,000 in federal pandemic recovery funds. The City will apply for grants from State and Federal agencies to make up the current shortfall in funding.
Mayor DeStefano was hopeful the project could start by year end and be completed in a couple years. The City intends to rent space to Agri-Business Child Development which is a nonprofit organization operating statewide at thirteen locations and currently serving ninety-three children of farm workers and other families in Middletown.
Additionally, a renovated structure could house a “local railroad history museum” as well as “one or more programs involving affordable housing, job training and business attraction.”
Another local O&W landmark, the shops which recently suffered a major fire, was reportedly in line for a
rebuilding and upgrading to enhance its use as a TV/film studio.
Thanks to Richard Dilger and Ed Horan for providing information on the “O&W” projects and to Dan Myers, Erik Pioselli and Mike Joyce for their coverage of the scrapping operation.