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Point of Rocks Railroad Station, 4000 Clay Street, Point of Rocks, MD 21777, built 1873, style: Victorian Gothic Revival

The Point of Rocks Railroad Station is a historic passenger rail station on the MARC Brunswick Line between Washington, D.C. and Martinsburg, WV located at Point of Rocks, Frederick County, Maryland, United States. The station was built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1873, and designed by E. Francis Baldwin. The main station building is a two and one-half story, triangular Gothic Revival with a four-story tower and a one and one-half story wing at the base. The tower has a pyramidal roof containing a dormer on each side. On top is a square cupola supporting a pyramidal peaked roof.[3]. The station building itself is not open to the public and is used by CSX as storage and offices for maintenance of way crews. In 2008, new platforms and platform shelters were built for MARC commuters traveling east towards Washington DC ,replacing older bus shelter style structures which were erected in the mid 90's. During the blizzard of 2010, the south side awning on the main building collapsed under the weight of record snow fall, and was later removed leaving half the building missing cover. In January 2011, work to rebuild the destroyed part of the structure began. The Point of Rocks Railroad Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and reopened for the Maryland Rail Commuter Service established the Brunswick Line.

Description: The Point of Rocks Railroad Station is a Gothic Revival building vaguely triangular in shape with a four-story tower on the apex and a 1 1/2-story wing at the base. The central 2 1/2-story section forms the main block of the station. On both the north and south facades the central section has a hip roof with a pair of jerkin dormers over the second story windows. One of the pair has a gable roof and the other dormer has a hip roof, all decorated with sawnwork "gingerbread" trim. The exterior fabric is comprised of brick with horizontal bands of granite stripping. One band is located just above the foundation, one below the first story windows, one 3/4 of the way up the first story windows, and one below the second story windows. The rear 1 1/2-story wing has no granite bands. However, a raised brick band is located at the same level as the granite band which is 3/4 of the way up the first floor windows. Two wide porches project from the north and south sides of the central section. Large wooden trusses and brackets carved in a geometric, but Gothic, style support the porches. The lancet-shaped windows have alternating granite and sandstone voussoirs. The rectangular window and door openings have straight granite lintels. The first floor window lintels and door lintels connect to the granite bands which are 3/4 of the way up the windows, creating a continuous line of trim. Likewise, a granite band encircles the building at the level of the window sills, also forming a continuous line. The lancet-shaped window opening on the first story of the tower is composed of two lancet-shaped windows and a trefoil cut in wood between the windows. The tower itself has a pyramidal roof containing a dormer on each side. A square cupola atop the tower supports the pyramidal peaked roof. The cupola is decorated with a quatrefoil design cut in wood. The tower roof has several rows of round-shaped shingles interspersed in the rows of square shingles. Clay chimney pots complete the Gothic illusion.

Significance: The proportion, detailing, and color of the Point of Rocks Railroad Station is unusually sophisticated for its rural setting and ranks with the most outstanding work of the Victorian Gothic Revival. The polychrome effect produced by the combination of brick, granite, and sandstone is reminiscent of earlier work in England by architects like William Butterfield. The elaborate architecture of the Point of Rocks Railroad Station testifies to the significance of the railroad as the dominant institution in post-Civil War America, especially in small towns. In Point of Rocks, the Baltimore and Ohio depot is the most imposing and elaborate structure. The town was moved to its present site in order to be near the tracks, indicating the depth of control the railroad exercised.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 1, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Alexander Tucker
    • Camera: NIKON COOLPIX L20
    • Taken on 2011/03/25 22:14:18
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 6.72mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.100
    • ISO Speed: ISO64
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash