UTICA, N.Y.—In late May, 2014, the Utica community is marking the 100thanniversary of historic Union Station with a week of commemorative activities including a dinner dance, dedication of an anniversary plaque and special session of the Oneida County Public Market.
The New York Central Railroad (NYC) opened the Utica station on May 24, 1914, and the next year it became a union station when the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western and the New York, Ontario & Western railroads relocated their services to the riverside facility.
The grand Beaux-Arts structure was designed by Allen Stem and Alfred Fellheimer of New York City, whose architectural firm became well known for its many railroad projects. Standing three stories high, Utica station features walls of rusticated granite and buff brick embellished with classical details such as pilasters, engaged columns, cornices and eagle sculptures. Inside, the main waiting room includes a coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling, columns faced with Botticino marble and terrazzo floors.
When the station came under the ownership of Penn Central in the 1970s, it was badly deteriorated, and arguments were made for its demolition. State Assemblyman Nicholas J. Calogero and the fledgling Landmarks Society of Greater Utica spearheaded the movement to restore the station. Oneida County purchased it in 1978 and began a phased five part restoration using federal, state and local funding.
Now known as the Boehlert Transportation Center in honor of Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, who helped secure the initial restoration funding, the station is served by the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Empire Service trains, as well as intercity and Centro buses. In addition, it houses Oneida County offices, retail establishments, event space and a weekly farmers’ market featuring products from central New York.