Renovation and repurposing of the depot’s interior began in summer 2016 after the depot was moved to its new home on the Q-block. Much of the work involved reversing the changes made in 1944. These alterations included lowering the ceiling by two feet and adding acoustic tile; removing all trim woodwork around doors, windows, and wainscoting; covering the original V-boards with an inch of plaster; and covering the maple floor with an inch of concrete and rubber tile.
The bathroom space was rebuilt as well as remodeled to make it compliant with current ADA standards.
Ceiling and Walls
The depot’s ceiling was lowered years after it was built, but renovation restored it to its original height.
A great deal of work needed to completed before the interior walls could be painted. Removing plaster revealed the original V-board walls, which needed repairing (filling nail holes), sanding, and cleaning (scrubbing off 50+ years of smoke and grime). Where needed, the V-board was replaced with savaged or new boards.
Underneath the plaster, the 1945 signature of Alan Kump was discovered. Kump worked for his uncles that summer to remove mortar from bricks discarded in the 1944 remodeling. Save the Northfield Depot located him in Florida, and he reported he earned a 1⁄2 penny per brick. Kump visited the depot in the summer of 2016 and passed away in 2017.
Drywall was used for the new ceiling as well as the stairwell walls and the south office room, which was rebuilt when the 1944 addition was removed.
With all the prep work completed, the walls, woodwork and ceiling could finally be primed and paint.
A portion of the original crown moulding was found in the attic providing an additional clue about the size and the design. Four-piece crown moulding was added in main room using that original piece as a model. Single piece crown moulding was added to the bathroom alcove and stairway.
Door and Window Carpentry
Carpenters added window and door casing, wainscoting trim/chair rail, window apron trim, and blanks for the casing blocks at the top and plinths at the base of the doors. The carpenters milled the apron trim and the wainscoting trim using exact width of the original. In the station master’s bay (last photo), the carpenters milled a more narrow casing to fit the space between windows. Permanent plinths will be added after the maple flooring is installed.
The 34 rosette blocks were made by a volunteer since the large size needed for the wide casing was not commercially available in this traditional pattern.
To accommodate an interior stairwell to the new basement (the original depot did not have one), one of the two bathrooms was removed and the unsafe floor opened up to the basement. Temporary stairs were initially installed. New V-board was installed on the stairway walls to match the original board in the depot’s main room. It was then sanded and painted. Once the major interior renovation work was completed, work on the permanent stairs began.