HAMILTON, Ohio — Later today, Hamilton City Council will vote on whether or not to save the historic CSX train station after the vote was postponed in May.
Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller said if City Council votes to preserve the station, it will be relocated closer to the city's downtown area. Ideally, he said, the station would be turned into a welcome center, museum or a refreshment area.
The station -- built in the 1850s -- hosted President Abraham Lincoln, who spoke there during his administration, and President Harry Truman also spoke nearby nearly a century later. Soldiers leaving for and coming home from World War I stopped at the station.
"It’s history that you can see and touch, and if we can bring that building back to life in a form that it can be reused for positive things... we’ll all be proud of the fact that we saved a part of history,” Moeller said.
However, moving the station, building a new foundation, and redesigning aspects of the station to fit one of those plans would cost an estimated $600,000 -- a price tag that is giving some council members pause.
Since the vote was paused last month, the council has been seeking funding through organizations like the Hamilton Community Foundation to offset those costs.
"If it does get relocated, I think people with vision will be able to see what it can be," Moeller said. "Buildings today aren’t built to last 160 years, but this one clearly has architectural significance, historical significance, and repurposing it could be a real positive for the Hamilton area.”
Hamilton City Council will vote on this matter at 6 p.m. If council votes against preserving the station, CSX will demolish it.