Millwood's train station is no more. The red building that onces served the old Putnam railroad line was demolished on Wednesday morning after much discussion about saving it failed to come to fruition.
Bruce Fiorito, who helmed the equipment and confirmed the demolition, was working for the Rotta family, which owns the site. Most of the structure's debris had been carted off by the afternoon, he explained, with the remaining work consisting of breaking up the foundation. Only a large hole and small amounts of debris remained at that point.
By early evening, the site had been filled in with soil, leaving no readily visible reminder of the structure other than an existing nearby plaque.
Fiorito said the station was in bad shape. He noted that rotten and previously burnt beams were discovered inside the building.
"It was so rotten" he said.
Fiorito described examples of beams that were eaten most of the way through by insects.
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The demolition marks the end of the storied structure, which was originally built for Briarcliff Manor's stop along the Putnam Line and moved to Millwood in 1909, according to an Images of America series book on New Castle's history that includes records from the town's historical society. The Putnam Line, which ran through Millwood beginning in the 1880s, ceased providing passenger service in 1958, according to records. The right of way for the line is now the adjacent North County Trailway for bike riders.
The events leading up to the demolition were set in motion 11 months ago, when members of the Millwood Task Force, feeling that the old building was dilapidated, . The group's call led the town's building department to request either scenario, with them being preferable to the status quo.
By the fall, owner Leo Rotta . Rotta and around the same time, . Rotta's family members took over ownership and considered saving the building. However, last week an application for a demolition permit was requested, according to New Castle Building Inspector Bill Maskiell.
While the original structure is now lost, on nearby land that is owned by Westchester County. New Castle Supervisor Susan Carpenter announced the idea at the May 3 Millwood Task Force meeting and said that the county is interested.
The project would involve design and building help from a class at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, and the finished structure would be leased out for food purposes to offset the building costs. Measurements of the original station were recently done on behalf of BOCES, according to Carpenter.
"It was in such bad condition," Carpenter said of the station building, adding that it didn't look like it could be moved.
Paulette Rotta Beldotti, who had briefed Patch on previous plans, could not be reached for comment. An attempt was made to reach out to other Rotta family members. A woman who picked up the phone at a publicly listed residence declined to comment.