Building Description Gassaway Train Depot, Gassaway West Virginia

The Gassaway B & O Depot is located between Fourth and Fifth Streets in the town of Gassaway, Braxton County, West Virginia. It is adjacent to the right of way of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The tracks and the former railroad work yards and shops were located to the west of the depot. To the east of the depot is a small playground and park. Bordering the park is the City Hall, the fire station, and the Post Office. In all, the four buildings form a "u" shape around the park, with the depot anchoring it opposite Elk Street, Gassaway's main commercial street.

In plan, the depot is a simple rectangle seventy eight feet long and thirty five feet wide. This has projecting pavilions in the center of each of the longer facades. These pavilions are twenty six feet long and project six feet.

The building is a two-story brick and stone railroad depot structure with a hip roof. The projections have gable roofs and there is a gable end in each pavilion. The first floor facade is rusticated, banded, rough faced ashlar stone and the second floor facade is red brick in a Flemish bond. There is a horizontal brick band at the second floor window sill level.

The roof is red ceramic "French" tile, similar to a barrel tile with a smaller curve. The roof has tile cresting, in a simple barrel shape. There are raised crests at the top of each hip. The roof projects slightly with a closed soffit. There are external gutters. The gable ends of the pavilions have slightly raised raked parapets with stone caps.

The windows on the second floor are six over six wooden double hung sash. In the pavilions they are arranged in a bank of five windows. On the side wings the windows are arranged in three bays with the center bay having paired windows. The side elevation, second floor windows are arranged in five bays.

On the first floor front and back elevations, the center pavilion has a large shallow arched opening. This is filled with a central pair of wood doors, flanked by pairs of windows with a paneled wood kick panel. Above all of this is an arched transom with vertically divided lights. The windows in this arrangement are the same, six over six. The doors have eight lights over a single recessed panel. The entire exterior of this entrance system is covered with plywood, installed as a temporary protective measure. The original configuration and details are extant.

The building originally had a shed awning above the first floor level. This projected out and contained tile roofing and heavy wood brackets and purlins, typical of railroad era architecture. This is no longer extant.

On the interior of the first floor the plan is roughly symmetrical. The waiting room/ticket counter/lobby is encompassed by the projecting pavilions. It runs the width of the building allowing one to enter the building from the trackside and exit through the park side to downtown Gassaway. The ticket counter is along the south wall in the center of the building. The large windows in the doors and the side windows and transoms provide a light airy feeling that one can look through the entire building from east to west.

On the north side of the first floor are located two offices with the stair to the second floor between them. The stair is accessed from the exterior, north elevation. There are two toilets tucked into recesses on the north side of the waiting room as well. Behind the ticket counter on the south side of the waiting room there are two rooms as well. One is the freight office and office. The second is used for storage and has a garage door opening. Access to the ticket counter is through the office room.

On the second floor the plan is similarly arranged. There is a large room on the west side in the pavilion for the dispatch office. This has views up and down the tracks. A corridor runs the length of the building north to south in the center. The entire south wing is one room, though originally it may have been two. Opposite the dispatch room is a toilet, stairs to the attic, and a small office. The north wing is composed of two offices separated by the stairs to the first floor.

Finishes on the second floor are plaster ceilings and walls with wide wood baseboards. These are all painted. The window and door trim is dark stained hardwood trim. Most floors are narrow tongue and groove hardwood flooring. There is an added wall in the dispatch room and the office opposite this. These are horizontal board walls. Doors are five panel painted wood. The corridor in front of the dispatch room has borrow lights in the wall from the dispatch room. In the second floor there are a number of original lighting fixtures. These are a combination of metal shade pendants and "schoolhouse" type glass globe pendants.

The first floor in the waiting area, is a bit more decorative. The floor is narrow tongue and groove flooring. The walls are plaster over a vertical beaded board wainscot. The wainscot is dark stained and clear coated. Doors on this floor have multiple lights in the upper sections and panels below.

The ticket counter is a major design element in the first floor interior. It has a beaded board wainscot with wood stiles and rails. The entire counter projects into the waiting area. Above the counter level it is divided into five bays on the front side. The center of these has the ticket window with a six pane fixed sash above the ticket opening. Flanking the ticket window are two sets of fixed fifteen light sash. The return wall of the ??project are at an angle greater-than 90 degrees and have the same details. The seating benches in the waiting room are massive dark wood horizontal units with beaded board horizontal backs and square newel posts with caps.

The remainder of the rooms are finished similarly to the second floor. The large office room on the south side of the building has a window wall between it and the storage room trackside. This is similar to the ticket counter wall, except it is painted wood.