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Fredericton Heritage Trust York Street Audio Tour

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City of Fredericton
Union Station, York Street Audio Tour, Fredericton Heritage Trust, New Brunswick, Canada

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Click for full list of buildings on tourFurther north, towards the river, is an old brick building with a new liquor store attached at the back. The old building was the second train station on the site. The earlier wooden one, built in 1869, was no longer needed when this brick building was ready for use in December 1923. So the 54 year old wooden station was hauled across several streets in 1923 to the north east corner of Victoria and Northumberland Streets. Today this piece of transport history is an apartment building.

Fredericton's new 1923 Union Station building had outside walls of red tapestry brick. The ornamental base border used sandstone from Nova Scotia. The west end, at York Street, shows the original small decorative red tile cross in the lower gable and an arched window in the upper gable. In the early 1920's both the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the Canadian National Railway (CNR) systems operated daily freight and passenger trains into the station. Hence the informal use of the name "Union Station."

It was the Golden Age of railway. The railway yards were large, and they had to be. Station operations needed repair shops, engine houses, freight storage, loading platforms, engine turning lines, a coal shed, water tower and tracks for moving cargo and passenger trains seven days a week. Union Station welcomed everyone: ordinary travelers, special trains and coaches, celebrities, and government and royal VIPs. But, by the 1950s, automobiles were rapidly replacing the trains for travel. On September 14, 1985, passenger train services stopped. All other station services stopped on May 31, 1986. By the end of the twentieth century, the railway tracks had been turned into walking trails. The little station was abandoned. The land became bare.

In 1992, the federal government declared it to be a designated Heritage Railway Station . But it deteriorated for many years before its private ownership restoration in 2011. Now, this 1923 building serves liquor sales and tasting operations.

(Click for more info Word | PDF ).

Close by Union Station and at the back of the office building at Aberdeen Street and York Street is an old red brick building. It has, on the liquor shop side, eight first-storey window openings. It was built in 1912 beside the train station to house the leather tanning operations of the main factory of the Palmer McLellan Shoepack Company nearby. All of the three shoe factories in the city stood near the railway yards for easy shipping of their goods to North American and other mass markets.

(Click for more info Word | PDF ).

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