Seaboard Building & Trainshed

Richmond Main Street Station, Richmond, VA

The Main Street Station in Richmond, Virginia is a complex of buildings, originally constructed by the Seaboard Air Line and Chesapeake & Ohio Railroads. The ornate French Renaissance terminal building and train-shed are collectively designated as a National Historic Landmark. Amtrak moved to a much smaller suburban station 5 miles away and railroad function ceased at this station in 1975 following a damaging flood of the nearby James River, caused by 1972’s Hurricane Agnes. The station additionally experienced damage by fires in 1976 and 1983.  Service was restored for the Main Street Station in 2004 following a major renovation.

To complement this restoration, we were contracted in 2004 to provide testing and analysis services for the Main Street Station. The scope consisted of mortar analysis and paint analysis from two structures, the Trainshed, and a red brick adjunct building (the Seaboard) dated 1909.

Mortar was sampled from two locations on the Seaboard, and paint from the interior steel framing of the train shed, and from the windows and doors of the Seaboard, plus a small number of other architectural elements. General cleaning and stain removal recommendations were also provided for the Seaboard. The results of all testing were submitted in a report to the client, with mortar channels containing the recommended replication mixes and paint swatches representing the closest commercially available color matches.