Dennis D. Heindl and the Ridgway community are collaborating to restore the historic train station located along North Broad Street in Ridgway.
According to William Gentilman, Property Manager for the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad, Inc., the building was built the year 1907.
“The station was built the last year the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad was in existence,” said Gentilman. “The line the station is on was a part of the Pennsylvania Railroad section that ran from Erie to St. Marys, and the track is still there.”
The restoration of the building has been nearly 20 years in the making.
“We are pleased we were able to come to an agreement with everyone,” Gentilman said. “We would have been forced to tear it down, and it probably would have been gone by now if the Heindls wouldn’t have come forward.”
The initiative was made by Dennis Heindl who approached Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad, Inc. officials with the seeds for an agreement in an effort to save the landmark welcoming visitors to Ridgway.
“The borough had filed charges against the railroad because of the condition it was in. As a rebuttal, they were not going to fix it, but decided to tear it down,” Heindl said. “Personally, I couldn’t see that happening because it would be an awful thing to lose it. There were a lot of personal things that got in the way of getting this settled. After 19 years of arguing between the borough and the railroad, I thought I would step up to the plate and maybe get this thing settled.”
Heindl donated $50,000 to jumpstart the operation to restore the building, and a campaign to raise funds to put in an escrow account will begin at the first of the year. Those wishing to make a donation can be made to the Ridgway Borough c/o old train station 108 Main St., Ridgway, Pa., 15853.
“I hope the town gets together and helps fundraise,” Heindl said.
Pick up a copy of the Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.