Genesee Valley Canal RR Freight Station Project


Olean Times Herald

CUBA - A historic railroad station in Cuba was saved and may have found a new home due to combined efforts of the Cuba Friends of Architecture, volunteers and members of the business community.

The train station behind the former Rinker Exxon store along Route 446 was slated for demolition unless someone could step forward to move the building, said Lee James, president of the Cuba Chamber of Commerce.

"We were able to come to a compromise where we took the building down, moved it and gave it to the Cuba Friends of Architecture," Ms. Lee James said.

Bill Bradley, vice president of Rinker Oil, said the train building and a service station were slated for demolition to make room for a new Arrowmart convenience store on the property.

Instead of demolishing the train building, Rinker Oil offered to donate the building and $5,000 that would have been used for demolition to the Cuba Friends of Architecture, Mr. Bradley said.

"There are so few of those buildings around anymore," he said. The railroad building was being used by Rinker Oil for storage.


The building was on the Genesee Valley Canal Railroad, which operated from abouy 1880 to 1990. The line opened in 1882 and ran from Rochester to Hinsdale. The railroad line connected to the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad in Hinsdale. The rail line was later leased by several railroad companies.

The building was likely constructed in the  early 1880s, said Cuba Friends of Architecture member Michael Doyle.

Most of the building has been taken down and put into storage."We worked on the building over several days," he said.

The Friends of Architecture hired some Amish workers to aid in taking the building apart, while volunteer also helped. The dimensions of the building are 20 feet by 60 feet. Local trucking companies also helped move the pieces of the building from the site and into storage.

The building will likely be reconstructed near the historic block barns owned by Empire City Farms. The building would be rebuilt in the spring at the earliest, Mr. Doyle said.

The block barn site is "an ideal, historic site and probably the best destination," Mr. Doyle said. Some train tracks run near the block barn as well.

The Friends of Architecture's goal is to have the building ready for use at the annual Cuba Garlic Festival held at the block barns.

Thanks to For Your Help!

I would like to thank all those who worked to help save the historic Genesee Valley Canal Railroad (Pennsylvania Railroad) freight station that was located behind the Rinker Exxon/Mobile station on Route 305 in Cuba. The RR building was originally constructed in late1882 or early 1883, 125 years ago. Bill Bradley, of Rinker Oil, needed the old depot removed to complete an extensive expansion project at the new station complex. He had explored the options of moving or demolishing the depot. Both choices presented problems or negative effects. A representative from the Cuba Friends of Architecture (CFA), asked if Bill would consider a third option. Together the two men agreed to the dismantling of the building, to be rebuilt on another location.

If the old depot was to be saved, it had to happen quickly to prevent construction delays. Mr. Bradley, a forward looking businessman, agreed to fund the dismantling of the building. The CFA was able to then hire a team of Amish workmen under the leadership of Lewis Yoder to assist in the project. Paul Switalski served as the project manager. Trucking of the dismantled building was provided by volunteers Jeff Sargent of Sargent Transportation and Mike Jeffries of Mike's Body Shop. Norm Ungermann of Ungermann Excavating will assist in moving the foundation pylons.

Hardworking volunteers helped in the disassembly of the depot. Loading of the resulting material was provided by Barry Cummins, Carol Donavan, Don Donavan, Connie Doyle, John Doyle, John Thomas Doyle, Kip Doyle, Ruth Doyle, Shawn Doyle, Betty Frank, Doug Frank, Andy Moot, Karen Reynolds, Tom Taylor, Terry Winchell, and others I may have failed to list.

Much still lies ahead. Bonnie Blair, owner of the Block Barn at Empire City Farms, has agreed to provide a home for the restored depot. It is hoped that the freight station will become a feature of the Cuba Garlic Festival under the auspices of the Cuba Chamber of Commerce. Reconstruction will begin in the Spring 2008. My thanks to all who have helped thus far and to all those who will join us in the future.

Michael Doyle, President, Cuba Friends of Architecture




Cuba Friends of Architecture

P.O. Box 274

Cuba, New York 14727