Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Driving down Rt. 690 West in the city of Syracuse, it’s easy to see the old train station - a once-stunning piece of the Salt City’s history - now crumbling to the ground.
While it may be unsightly and will eventually be removed or repaired, the deteriorating train platform canopy is not a safety concern for drivers, according to both the city’s code enforcement director and the city’s deputy fire chief.
“The canopy's far enough away from 690 and the weight of the concrete is just going to fall straight down,” said Syracuse Director of Code Enforcement Mike Bova.
Although a shell of its former self, the structure was once a vibrant center of transportation.
“That was the primary railroad station in Syracuse, so it was a very busy place,” said Dennis Connors, curator of history at the Onondaga Historical Association. “A lot of people coming and going to New York City…to Chicago…all major famous trains of New York Central would stop at that station.”
Historical records say the station opened in 1936, when New York Central Railroad raised the tracks to keep the trains away from car traffic. The remaining platform was used for mail shipments and big cargo, not for passengers. It closed in 1962.
“In terms of platforms, that's really the last surviving piece and really for all the people traveling on 690 it's sort of a constant reminder that there used to be trains running there,” Connors said.
Despite the history, the canopy is in violation of city codes, as well as an eyesore. The city is trying to determine who is responsible for fixing the canopy.