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Photographs-two story section-exterior
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Exterior Photographs
of the
Two-Story Section

The only exterior portion of the Choctaw freight station that was readily visible was the second story of the building, rising above the warehouse additions which concealed the first floor. [1] south(rear) and east side, [2] front, [3] west side in relation to Choctaw passenger station. Although many of the architectural details were somewhat obscured by green paint, note the brick archwork over the windows and the stone trim lines along the arches and just below the windows. Ironically, the only obstacle to having the Choctaw freight station listed on the National Register of Historic Places was the National Park Service policy of excluding "clad" buildings from the National Register. The exterior additions hiding the historic structure were easily removed in several hours, prior to the demolition of the building itself on November 21, 2001.

[1]Photo by Bill Pollard

[2]Photo by Bill Pollard

[3]Photo by Bill Pollard

One of the most commonly asked questions is "Why wasn't the Choctaw freight station "discovered" earlier? The next two photos provide the answer. The building was not "discovered" because perhaps 90% of the original structure was hidden within a larger warehouse. Note that the newer additions were free-standing; the additions resulted in very little damage to the original structure, except for removal of the roof overhang covering the outside loading platform.

View [4] shows half of the west wall, on what was the track side of the building. Loading door number 4 is in the distance; door number 3 (closer to the camera) had been modified into a larger opening. Views [5-7] show the second floor west wall near the front of the building. Three windows and a door had been sealed with brick, but the original openings were not altered in the process. This door opened onto a small landing with exterior steps along the brick leading to a pedestrian bridge to east Second Street. Note the zig-zag and diamond trim using a yellow brick in the area below the stone trim. The black roofing tar along this design was residue from a onetime extension to the loading platform roof.

[4]Photo by Ken Ziegenbein

[5]Photo by Bill Pollard

[6]Photo by Bill Pollard

[7]Photo by Bill Pollard

Continuing around to the front of the building, the next four images [8-11] show the upper arch of a window and the main entrance doorway. All of the piping and woodwork was extraneous to the station itself, as was the floor on which the photographer was standing. The "Office" sign painted on the brick directs customers to the annex utilized by May Supply as an office after 1947. These photos give another perspective on how the Choctaw station was entombed within the larger May Supply Company building. Note the details of the precise brickmasonry required for the arches, the voussours forming the arches were thin, hand tapered bricks. Also note the very thin mortar joints between all of the brickwork, a style variously known as "bread and butter," or "buttered brick," the name referring to the manner in which the mortar was applied to the brick during the bricklaying process. A tuscan red mortar was used between the exterior bricks, while conventional grey mortar was used on the inner two layers of brick wall.

[8]Photo by Bill Pollard

[9]Photo by Bill Pollard

[10] Photo by Bill Pollard

[11] Photo by Bill Pollard

The front entry was bordered with cut granite quoins [12], which had been hand finished with a border around the exposed surfaces. A similar but less finished granite trim was used throughout the station as window seats and to delineate between the first and second floors in the front part of the station. The finely detailed stone bordering and the thin mortar joints are representative of the work of true craftsmen. Close up photos [13] show the detail work in quoins on the left and right sides of the main entrance.

The annex which was added across the front of the station in 1962 blocked a complete view of the front door and arch because of an external second level floor. The quoins were visible from the lower level and the brick archwork was visible from the upper level. All of this extraneous flooring was removed before demolition, confirming that it could have been easily removed as part of a restoration which never materialized.

[12]Photo by Bob Bethurem

[13]Photo by Bill Pollard Photo by Bill Pollard

The arched window [14] was located on the ground floor, east wall of the office section, and was representative of all of the arched windows in the front office section of the station. The bars on the office windows do not appear to have been original construction, although they had been in place for many years.

[14]Photo by Bill Pollard

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Two-story - interior