Millwood’s Little Red Stationhouse bites the dust, but could make a comeback
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May 11, 2011
by Christine Yeres
On Wednesday morning, a single backhoe made short work of Millwood’s the little red stationhouse. Within two hours it was reduced to a pile of wood siding, shingles and beams; slate roof tiles; the bricks of the chimney; the sawdust left by insects and squirrels that have had the run of it; and the ivy that had grown up its backside, into it, and out a hole in the roof. By afternoon, the footings had been filled in and smoothed over.
Several years ago a 12-inch hole appeared in its slate roof, opening the stationhouse to the elements. A peek inside an open back door last Sunday revealed an interior even more decayed than its exterior, and very musty. Three days later, the stationhouse was demolished.
Town says, “Fix or tear down”
Nearly a year ago, at the urging of the Millwood Task Force, New Castle’s Building Inspector Bill Maskiell had notified the owner, Leo Rotta, that the building must be either fixed or torn down. Over the years, attracted by its central location and proximity to the County Trailway, several entrepreneurs had attempted—each without success—to lease the building from Rotta. The Millwood Fire Company considered saving the stationhouse by moving the structure to its Fire Station No. 1 property, but concluded that it was too unsound to survive the trip.
Then last December Rotta died, and his daughter arranged for the take-down this week.
Operating on another track, New Castle Supervisor Susan Carpenter announced to Millwood Task Force members last week that she had sounded out Westchester County officials to learn, first, whether the stationhouse could be shored up and moved to County-owned property 50 feet south (of its now-former location), for use as a concession stand to service walkers and bikers on the County Trailway. The County was open to the idea.
All aboard, BOCES!
Once Carpenter learned that the stationhouse was not salvageable, however, she suggested to County officials a new plan: BOCES in Yorktown had expressed interest having its students help to create an exact replica of the Millwood stationhouse, to be placed on County property. BOCES students could create architectural drawings—and even prefabricate parts of the structure. And they have a twin of the stationhouse to study, in Yorktown.
Next stop: Martine Avenue in White Plains, County Headquarters
“It would be great to have the little stationhouse again in Millwood,” said Carpenter, “and for the County to be able to lease it as a concession stand.” She will talk further with County officials.