Wednesday, August 29, 2007

California Roundhouses

From: KyleKWyatt@gmail.com

The question has been raised, how many surviving brick roundhouses still standing in Califonria?  Perhaps a more pertinent questin is how many roundhousese of any type are still extant in California - darn few I bet.  San Jose is on a pallet, of course.  Sacramento is just brick footings.  Last I heard the Santa Barbara roundhouse (stucco over unknown structure) was still standing as a warehouse.  Jamestown is of course wood frame with corrugated metal.  Off the top of my head, I don't recall any other surviving roundhouses in California, brick or otherwise, but probably it's worth checking further.

—Kyle

20 Comments:

Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Anthony Thompson" thompson@signaturepress.com

Dunsmuir?

—Tony Thompson, Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
Publishers of books on railroad history

8/29/2007 11:45 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Randy Hees" hees@astound.net

SP's Bayshore still stands, less much of it's roof and the turntable ...

The State Belt Ry stucco building is now an office building along the Embarcadero in San Francisco. (This is a wedge shaped building, but never had a turntable.)

Is the Amador Central building still standing in Martell?

The remains of the Colusa and Lake buildings (wooden) were still standing at last report.

I believe there are a few turntables with only the footprint of the former roundhouses including Richmond on Santa Fe, and Bakersfield on SP

—Randy Hees

8/30/2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Anthony Thompson" thompson@signaturepress.com

Good list, Randy, but I think the State Belt structure is reinforced concrete.

—Tony Thompson

8/30/2007 10:13 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

Yes, I believe the State Belt roundhouse is concrete, too.

—Kyle

8/30/2007 10:14 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

Amador Central isn't technically a "roundhouse" – rather an "enginehouse", and rectangular – and didn't feed directly from the turntable, I think (although it may have had access).

I thought Dunsmuir roundhouse had been torn down – is it still standing?

Southern Pacific Santa Barbara – demolished in 1982

Anything left in Southern California?

So I think the list of surviving California roundhouses currently stands as:
Southern Pacific Bayshore
State Belt San Francisco (never had a turntable)
Sierra Railway Jamestown (Railtown 1897 State Historic Park)

I suppose technically you might include the California State Railroad Museum – turntable and roundhouse as part of the Railraod History Museum.

Note the State Belt roundhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places
added 1986 – Building - #86000207

—Kyle

8/30/2007 2:39 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: cris.hart@comcast.net

Thanks for all the excellent discussion & information. I checked with my contact at the Port of San Francisco who replied he quite sure that's a poured concrete roundhouse, not masonry.

Have started a Bayshore page on the [San Francisco Trains] website.

—Cris Hart

8/31/2007 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "John Snyder" johnsnyder@onetel.com

The Santa Barbara roundhouse was demolished by Fess Parker to make room for his new hotel (thanks, Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone!).

—John Snyder, White Ensign Models

9/03/2007 8:26 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org

The Brooklyn Roundhouse in Portland is a true Southern Pacific structure and still stands as far as I know. The portion that remains however is a more recent extension of an older brick roundhouse. If my dating is correct, the Klamath Falls SP roundhouse was in use as recently as 15 years ago, at which time it was demolished. As for footings, there are plenty of those around, including the foundations of the original Oregon & California (later SP) roundhouse in Ashland, Oregon.

—Larry Mullaly

9/03/2007 8:32 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

So that leaves us with the list of surviving California roundhouses as:
Southern Pacific Bayshore
State Belt San Francisco (never had a turntable)
Sierra Railway Jamestown (Railtown 1897 State Historic Park)

Southern Pacific San Jose (Lenzen Ave) is a palatized kit of brick (with I think some reports of some bricks "growning legs and walking").

Dunsmuir and Santa Barbara were torn down – and of course many others as well.

California Western, Amador Central, Yreka Western, and I think McCloud River had rectangular engine houses, not roundhouses. (McCloud River may have had a roundhouse that they subsequently tore down and replaced with their present engine house.)

In Oregon, the remaining (newer) stalls of SP Brooklyn (Portland) still stand (but threatened).
Klamath Falls apparently torn down a few years ago.

I don't think of anything in Nevada, nor in Utah.

I think the El Paso & Southwestern Tucson, Arizona, roundhouse survives, in other use.

Anything in Southern California that anyone can think of?? Looks like a pretty sparce list of survivors.

—Kyle

9/03/2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "John Snyder" johnsnyder@onetel.com

Don't forget the footings of the Rocklin Roundhouse (or have those been bulldozed in the last decade?).

—John Snyder, White Ensign Models

9/04/2007 8:57 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

Any idea who owns the Rocklin property where the roundhouse was?

9/04/2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves" caliron@cwnet.com

The Rocklin roundhouse is within 50 feet of the current UPRR grade, so I would suppose it is still owned by the UPRR. Immediately behind the roundhouse is a church, their parking lot butts up to the old stone wall.

—Chris

9/04/2007 3:59 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves" caliron@cwnet.com

What remains today resembles Death Valley.  Dirt, a few stones, half a dozen failing eucyptus trees.  The stone wall is below grade, and cannot be seen from the existing grade.

The stone wall itself is perhaps 3 feet high, and runs quarter circle for perhaps 50 yards.  All else gone.  The stone wall is made from Rocklin granite, mostly Sierra Grey.  

—Chris

9/04/2007 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Randolph Ruiz said...

Another good question would be are there any other extant SP roundhouses? My guess is no.

If Lenzen is rebuilt, it will be a reconstruction. I don't believe it would really count as a surviving roundhouse.

Have we exhausted Southern California? I think Taylor and Redondo were the last to go in Los Angeles.

9/16/2007 11:14 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org

For the sake of completeness, I need to report that the mallet sheds are still extant at Dunsmuir. This structure capable of housing two SP cab-forwards in times gone by is owned I believe by Bruce Petty. UP is making some efforts to have it removed.

These sheds should qualify as legitimate "engine houses" in our discussion of surviving roundhouses/engine houses.

—Larry Mullaly

9/17/2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Randolph Ruiz said...

I found the following link (below) after I posted my comment.

Knowing a little bit about the context for the original question, I believe we were interested in roundhouses with a radial arrangement of engine bays such as would require a turntable for access. This is a rather distinct (and vanishing) building type.

As to my question about other SP roundhouses, Brooklyn was already mentioned, does Tuscon or New Orleans still exist?

http://www.nrhs.com/historic_structures/roundhouses/rh_data.htm

9/18/2007 4:28 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Link from previous post:

NRHS Historic RR Structures Survey – Roundhouses

9/18/2007 6:24 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

I saw the EP&SW roundhouse in Tucson – converted to other uses – when I was there in the mid-1990s.
 
—Kyle

9/20/2007 7:29 AM  
Anonymous David Middlecamp said...

I have posted at "Photos from the Vault" on the destruction of the SP roundhouse in San Luis Obispo and have several other railroad history posts. I welcome comments from folks who have a deeper knowledge of this history.

9/21/2009 4:43 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Photos from the Vault

9/21/2009 11:34 PM  

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