THE NEW STATION WAS DESIGNED BY F.W.MELLOR, ARCHITECT OF THE NEW HAVEN RAILROAD, AND CONSTRUCTED UNDER HIS DIRECTION
The building's width is 159 feet and its length along the street is 157 feet which includes the low baggage room and express room extensions, one on each side of the tracks. The exterior walls, which are reinforced with steel, are of rough wire-cut red tapestry brick laid in Dutch bond with raked half-inch joints. The trimming and cornice are of concrete. The building is of fireproof construction and wood was used only for some windows. The cost of the station was approximately $325,000.
The postcard shows the Central Falls entrance which was generally considered the main entrance because it faced Broad Street which was the main thoroughfare. The Pawtucket entrance was the same but it was considered a back entrance because it was not on a main street. Employees' timetables of the time carried the instruction, "when announcing the station PAWTUCKET AND CENTRAL FALLS trainmen should be particular to call both names".
An artist's rendition of the new station apparently drawn before the station was built.
Although the completed station was very similar, the roof, number of side windows and other details are different, The wooded background is pure embellishment since the area was densly populated.urban.
The new station was constructed 21 feet above the New Haven's four-track mainline. The view is from Barton Street in Pawtucket looking toward Boston Switch. The foundation of the building was concrete over a six foot high base course of Stony Creek granite. Because coal smoke is corrosive, enginemen were instructed not to stop locomotives under the station or bridges and, for the sake of cleanliness, they were ordered to take every precaution to eliminate black smoke in the vicinity of the station. The underside of the building was protected from the gases left by moving locomotives by a suspended concrete ceiling and smoke guard. Only the lower flanges of the girders carrying the building were left exposed. The ares beneath the floor and between the girders were utilized for pipe galleries.
TRACK LAYOUT AND FLOOR PLAN
The station appears to be square when viewed from three sides but is actually U-shaped because of the express and baggage rooms. Notice that facilities shown in parenthesis are on the upper street level. Most facilities are on the waiting room level which is about eight feet below the street level. The passageway on the south side was dubbed the "observation corridor" because it had nine large windows which provided a sheltered view of the train activity below
THE MAIN WAITING ROOM PROVIDED SEATING FOR 200 PEOPLE
THE WAITING ROOM is about 96 feet long, 64 feet wide and about 30 feet high. It is depressed eight feet below the level of the streets and is reached from lobbies on either side by marble stairways 20 feet wide. The foor is Welsh quarry tile. A wainscot of Italian Botticino marble rose to a height of about nine feet. Caen stone plaster covered the remainder of the walls. A barrel volute ceiling joined the walls 25 feet above the floor and gradually rose in a graceful arch to about 30 feet above the floor. The central portion of the ceiling was made up of three large ornamental leaded skylights bearing the seals of the two cities and the state. The seals were 3 feet in diameter and set in about 900 square feet of glass. Heating was provided by concealed radiators using low pressure steam generated in a boiler room below the Pawtucket lobby. Eight large oak benches provided seating. There were five windows in the ticket office, three for coach tickets, one for Pullman tickets and one for information.
VIEW OF THE PLATFORMS FROM BARTON STREET
The platforms were 20 feet wide and over 800 feet long, about the length of ten passenger cars. Butterfly type roofs were used over the platforms which were concrete and granite mixed. Four staircases went to the station and two to Barton Street. The none-slip step surface was made by troweling in ground carborundum. Baggage and express were handled by electric elevators. The postcard has a locomotive drawn crudely by an artist but is generally a good representation.
THE BARTON STREET ENTRANCE TO THE TRACK PLATFORMS
Although the station closed in 1960, the Barton Street stairs remained open and train service continued into the 1970's. This photo shows the stairs barricaded but it could be a late 1950's photo before the stairs were repaired and reopened.
THE STATION IS CLOSED BUT TRAINS ARE STILL REACHED BY THE BARTON STREET STAIRS IN 1961
PHOTO BY EDWARD J. OZOG
Long distance trains to New York and Washington did not stop at Pawtucket-Central Falls although there were some exceptions. As a general rule a traveler had to go 4 1/2 miles to Providence for the New Haven's top trains. Nevertheless, the number of trains which stopped at Pawtucket-Central Falls was large. In the better years, 1923 for example, there were 47 trains for Providence which stopped. There were about as many in the opposite direction on the lines to Boston, Worcester, Franklin, Wrentham, Taunton and Plymouth. The number declined over the years but there were still dozens of trains long after the peak years and some even into the 1970's.
POSTCARD OF THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS
The station approaches were landscaped with flower beds and grass plots bordered by concrete walks and tarvia driveways. The earth slopes of the cut in the vicinity of the station were planted with crimson rambler and climbing roses, a practice which the New Haven began in 1909 around Mount Vernon, New York. Each year into the 1930's thousands of cuttings were taken from rose bushes along the line and transplanted to other trackside areas along the New Haven. Eventually there were roses growing in spots along most New Haven lines. The roses at the cut in Pawtucket lasted longer than the service at the station.
Norcross Brothers of Worcester erected the building over structural steel work performed by Levering and Garrigues of New York. C.W.Blakeslee & Sons of New Haven built the retaining walls and served as general contractor for all masonary work, street changes, grading and paving. Edwin Gagel, Chief Engineer, New Haven Railroad had responsibility for the entire relocation project. A.L.Curtis was Assistant Engineer and I.D.Waterman was Consruction Engineer. Frederick A. Haywood was the first stationmaster.