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From: jdent1 AT optonline DOT net
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 18:09:10 -0500
Subject: Oyster Bay, NY
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Photo Caption: Working on the station renovation project were: from the left, firefighter Joe Crawford, John Specce, Steve Minicozzi, Dave Morrison, OBFC No. 1 Chief Ed McEvoy, Jr., Steve Torborg and Kris Kilgour, an OBF Co. No. 1 helper.
From the Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot
Oyster Bay Rail Road Museum Moving Ahead
Friends and OBFC No. 1 Work on Interior Demolition Project
By Dagmar Fors Karppi
The Oyster Bay Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station is well on its way to becoming a showplace for the community. Letters have just gone out to members of the community for the 2003-2004 capital fund-raising drive for the Oyster Bay Rail Road Museum which is under the auspices of the Oyster Bay Historical Society.
Recently members of the Friends of Locomotive 35 joined with members of Oyster Bay Fire Company No. 1, to demolish the interior rooms of the former LIRR stationhouse. They removed the 1964 false ceiling and walls to expose the wainscot and gingerbread interior so common in Victorian stations.
Watching the work of the Oyster Bay Fire Company No. 1 members it was easy to see they were the perfect group to help with the demolition of the interior of the station house. Oyster Bay Chief Ed McEvoy, Jr., was standing on top of the roof of the locker room, swinging a mallet to knock down the structure. A fireman held a long pole with a hook at the end, and used it to help guide a large partition taken down by Chief McEvoy, and helped ease it to the first floor gracefully through their combined efforts.
The station had been divided into a waiting room, a stationmaster's room and a locker room for the crew and several bathrooms. When the material was removed the visitors could see the elegant rafters holding up the roof. The building has arched doorways that were squared off during an earlier remodeling that are now revealed. There was light blue tile in the waiting room and plastic seats for customers, which have been removed.
Dave Morrision, retired Oyster Bay LIRR branch manager took part in the interior demolition. He said when the work is complete, the wood trim will be painted Essex Green, following a paint analysis that determined the original color. The white paint will be removed from the terra-cotta colored brick. They are considering putting a new shingle roof on the structure.
"This is a good head start. It shows that the building has a cathedral ceiling. The interior will be looked at by preservation architects to find what else will be involved in the restoration," he said.
Mr. Morrison was very happy with the progress they were making. "First, people can see the beauty of what the building was originally. Second, preservation architects will be able to see the interior now that the partitions have been removed. Steve Minicozzi has been our saving grace. When he stepped up 'with both feet' offering to help, that made things happen. Marie Knight found us an anonymous donor who gave us $12,500 and Steve and his workers helped take the old roof off and got the shingles donated which in all saved us about $4,000. (Hicksville contractor John Corby of Bradco Supply donated the shingles. Mr. Minicozzi contacted Bayville roofer Mike Ryan of Rygroove, who came in with a very low price to rip off the old shingles and put on the new ones.) The Town of Oyster Bay helped by giving them two dumpsters to remove the debris," he said. That saved a couple of hundred dollars.
Mr. Minicozzi got the roofing materials needed to be donated by John Corby of Bradco Supply in Hicksville. The work started Thursday morning.
Stephen Torborg, president of Friends of Locomotive 35 pointed to a section of the building wall that had been sand-blasted. He said, "John Collins, (architectural historian) is on the Station Restoration Committee and will look at the work, then decide what needs to be done. We want to be careful, we don't want to remove the surface of the brick which we will re-point. We will restore the woodwork and will fill in areas that have been partially rotted away, before we paint the trim Essex Green." They are considering how to handle the oyster shells imbedded in the triangles at the top of the roof area. They may be too delicate for them to try to remove the paint and might have to be replaced, said Mr. Torborg.
"It will take a great deal of money to do the doors and the interior roof. We will need grants and donations to get things in place. Today is a great start," said Mr. Morrison. "I just sing the praises of Steve Minicozzi and God bless Marie Knight."
Mr. Morrison said, "Oyster Bay has it all. There is a big revitalization going on in town. Look at the waterfront area and how it's improving. What is in the middle between the hamlet and the waterfront-the rail road station. We want this to shine like a gem for the community. It's a beautiful location, a beautiful structure, it has great historical value with its connection to Theodore Roosevelt, so we have good things going for us."
Mr. Morrison was especially pleased with the partnership between the firefighters and the railroad buffs and happy that the firefighters were asking about membership in the Friends of Locomotive 35. He was also grateful for the help of the Town of Oyster Bay which supplied the Friends with four dumpsters for the demolition work. "We appreciate the Town of Oyster Bay's cooperation, as well as the LIRR's cooperation in allowing us to do this work before the papers have all been officially signed. Oyster Bay Branch Manager Paul Bisono has been very helpful all along," he added.
"The town has signed the agreement, and sent it back to the LIRR real estate section. They have forwarded it to the MTA which has to sign off on it, and which is expected to happen in a month or two," said a town spokesperson.
Steve Minicozzi of Cozy Enterprises was happy with the progress of the job. He said that the Harborside Deli had donated food for the workers. There was a table set up with hero sandwiches, water and soft drinks. He said, "Anyone who wants to help the project monetarily or with labor, can call me at Cozy Enterprises, at 624-8447 and I will get them in touch with the Friends."
Progress Being Made
Steve Torborg, president of the Friends of Locomotive #35 Inc. gave an update of the road to making the museum a reality. He said, "The group with assistance of the Town of Oyster Bay and the Oyster Bay Historical Society has secured a 10-year lease from MTA/LIRR of the former portion of the LIRR yard that includes the 1904 turntable. A general grading of the area was performed this spring removing over four tons of scrap metal. Elements of the Twin Forks and Sunrise Trail Chapters of the NRHS and Railroad Museum of Long Island assisted in the cleanup. Shortly thereafter, former LIRR wood caboose 12 was moved onto the site as the first complete artifact to grace the former yard.
He said Locomotive #35's air compressor is currently being rebuilt at Backshop Enterprises of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. The complete tear-down includes a new sleeve for the cylinder and complete rebuilding of all systems. The locomotive itself is completely disassembled for the rebuilding process which will occur once the proper funding is in place.
Meanwhile, the group continues to work as necessary on the stabilization and restoration of the rest of the collection of rolling stock at their Garden City location. Work progresses at a steady rate on the interior restoration of Caboose #50 with a new wood floor almost completed. The 1964 World's Fair cab has had the last large patch of steel welded in place with three smaller patches and some other minor body work remaining. It will then be cleaned, primed and painted into the orange and gray 1960s paint scheme, probably sometime next spring. They are also anticipating the delivery of the surplus BM-62 Baggage/Mail car some time this fall.
Mr. Torborg said work is also under way to create a long-term plan for the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum as requested by the MTA/LIRR.
Membership and support is welcome. For more information, contact the group at P.O. Box 335, Oyster Bay, NY 11771 or 516-318-6722 or 516-887-4294. E-mail them at LIRR35@aol.com or visit our website at www.LIRR35.org.
New Friend of Locomotive 35
A former Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) employee decided to join the Friends of Locomotive #35 as she watched the demolition of the interior of the former station house recently. Watching the work progress were Lorie Danenza and her mother Janette. Ms. Danenza worked for the LIRR as did her husband.
"He loved it, and retired from working on the Oyster Bay in 1978/79 at age 50. When he retired I came on and worked until I retired in 2001. He was a trainman and then went into tickets. I worked at the Little Neck station. I had a lot of repair work done on that station on my own," she said.
Ms. Danenza bought a copy of Dave Morrison's new book Long Island Rail Road Stations he co-authored with Valerie Pakaluk. She knows Mr. Morrison, who she said retired from the LIRR four years ago.
Ms. Danenza also gave Steve Minicozzi a check to become a member of the Friends of Locomotive 35. "The whole Danenza family is joining and whoever else I can sign up," promised Lorie Danenza.