First of 2 former CSX train depot buildings to move mid-December

Nov. 25—The former CSX train depot on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will have a new address ― if all things go according to the current plan ― by the end of January.

Plans could be derailed, though, by "weather conditions and other variables," said Hamilton City Engineer Rich Engle. But he anticipates the two-story building "moved and set over the new foundation before Christmas" at its new location at the corner of Maple Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The second structure, a one-story building, is slated to be moved to the same corner by the end of January.

Hamilton has had eyes to save the former train depot since 2020 when city officials heard CSX wanted to demolish the historic structure that was once a stop for several U.S. presidents, including Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhauer and both Roosevelts. After negotiations with CSX and debate among City Council members on a budget of no more than $2 million, the two buildings that made up the depot will move beginning next month.

It's taken months to prepare for the move of the two buildings, including the bracing of the doors and windows, removal of the floor, and demolition of a structure that connected the one-story and two-story buildings.

The two-story building is the first to move because it's on the northern end of the property. Preparations to relocate the brick structure is set to begin the week of Dec. 5, said Engle.

According to the timeline, it will take about a week to prepare the building to be lifted. Then the week of Dec. 12, the jacking system will be installed, and the building will be moved to the prepared foundation some 1,100 feet north along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Engle said it could take upwards of six hours, and MLK Jr. Boulevard will be shut down from High Street to Pershing Avenue during that time frame. The exact date the street will be shut down has not yet been determined, but it's tentatively between Dec. 14 and 16.

Once Wolfe House & Building Moving is at the new location, they will work with LRT Restoration to complete securing the building to the new foundation.

Then a month later, the one-story building will be moved. Preparations by Wolfe House & Building Moving will begin before Christmas and continue after the New Year. That building will be tentatively prepared to be moved and relocated sometime between Jan. 13 and 18, according to a revised schedule. The same stretch of MLK Jr. Boulevard will be shut down as that building is also anticipated to take upwards of six hours.

Once the structures are moved onto the new foundations, the buildings will be put into a "white box" condition where a restaurant, bar, or some other business could complete business-specific interior upgrades and occupy it.