Rockville Historic Depot: Cultural Center and Gateway Trailhead Conceptual Master Plan
Prepaired by: Luke Waltz LA 490: Independent Study Project
Table of Contents Introduction
Analysis + Workshop
Conceptual Master Plan
Perspective Drawings and Images
Learning Outcome Summary
Introduction This project aims to redesign the Parke County, IN tourism center. The center, located in what previously was a Vandalia Railroad Depot, houses tourism information for all Parke County. The railroad was active from its late 1800s construction until its abandonment in the early 1980s. The depotâ€™s original architectural character remains intact, but the surrounding landscape of the site remains uninviting and underutilized. The purpose of this project is to revitalize a local, historic landmark as the hub of recreational tourism. This will happen by defining connections to regional attractions via a pedestrian rail-to-trail greenway, in-turn facilitating local economic growth.
Location + Context
The site is located in the Town of Rockville in Parke County, Indiana. The site lies 1/4 mi East of the town square along Highway 36, about 60 mi from Indianapolis. It is only minutes by car or bicycle to Rockville Lake, Turkey Run and Shades State Parks, and other local attractions.
History The Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad began in 1852, and was completed up to the Rockville station by 1859. Chauncey Rose and General G.K. Steele were local citizens who were very influential in directing the company to lay track through Rockville. “...iron will be laid to Spencer’s by next Saturday night, and to the Little Raccoon River by the following Saturday, this begins to look like “the Railroad is coming.” (Republican) The line became a county wide hub in grain, stock, coal, and lumber commerce. “Rockville is situated in one of the richest counties of Indiana, and Evansville is its natural outlet.”(Magill) Soon after, the railroad was leased to the Logansport, Crawfordsville and Southwestern RR. “The first track from Rockville to Logansport was so rough, crooked and dangerous that it was known as the “Pumpkin Vine”. The death rate of its trainmen was said to be as high as that of the average company of soldiers in the Civil War.
There was no telegraph line until 1870 so all the news of the Civil War was brought by train: a long blast of the locomotive whistle meant good news, a short blast meant bad news. So on April 9, 1865, a long blast heralded Lee’s surrender, but on April 14, a short blast followed by a wail of distress was followed by the arrival of a train engine draped in black and announced the news of President Lincoln’s death.”(Harkrider) The track from Rockville to Terre Haute was leased to the Vandalia RR by the Evansville & Terre Haute from the late 1870’s on. During this time, the Logansport, Crawfordsville and Southwestern Railroad was purchased by the Terre Haute & Logansport RR in a bankruptcy sale. TH&L was partially financed by the Terre Haute & Indianapolis RR. The original Virginia Street Depot operated for less than a year following the merge. The depot could no longer remain in the heart of Rockville due to the noise and hazardous conditions. A modern up-to-date depot was built in 1883 in the current location just East of the town square. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company had their hands in TH&I’s pocket for a long time but couldn’t gain control of the line due to strong Terre Haute interest until TH&I went bankrupt in the late 1890’s. In 1905 the Pennsylvania RR finally got control of TH&I. They restructured their roads into the Vandalia Railroad Company, which then absorbed itself into the the South Bend Branch of the Pennsylvania Lines in 1916. 15
When the “Pennsy RR” took over, it was named the Crawfordsville branch of the St. Louis Division, Western Region. Dispatchers were at Terre Haute Union Station’s 2nd story for most of the railroads life then moved to Indianapolis later in the 1950s. The line made 8 stops between Terre Haute (MP 0 C&EI Trackage rights ) and Frankfort (78.2) in the following Parke County towns: Rosedale (12.2 crossing of C&EI’s old coal road), Jessups (14.9), Catlin (17.8 water), Rock (22.7 passing track), Rockville (22.9), Sand Creek (26.6), Judson (29.9), and Guion (32.3 Overpass of CI&W(B&O)passing track +interchange). The ultimate abandonment of the railroad came in 1970 when the Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central Railroad, and New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad merged with the Penn Central Transportation Company. The company’s mismanagement led to missed connections and even misplaced trains. Penn Central declared bankruptcy in June of that year. The government was forced to intervene and salvage the major lines. These lines now operate under Conrail and Amtrak services. The Rockville Depot is currently the center for county wide tourisim information and funcitons as headquarters of The Covered Bridge Festival, held across the county each October.
Analysis + Workshop Partnering with local entities, including: The Covered Bridge Gateway Trail Association (CBGTA), Parke County Incorporated (PCI), The Parke County Community Foundation, Parke County Chamber of Commerce, Beechwood Park Board, Main Street, and The Town of Rockville was needed to create a conceptual plan and cost estimate for the site. The plan was submitted in a grant package to the state in February 2014. The groups were notified in March 2014 that the 1:1 match of $50,000 toward construction by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) had been approved. PCI was one of six awarded Place Based Investment Funding.
S i t e 20
I m a g e s
S t a k e h o l d e r
M e e t i n g 21
Brazil Terre Haute
FAR M ER
R K ET
.ENCOURAGES HEALTHY LIFESTYLES
E N TE R .ARCHITECTURAL REUSE
.OPEN AIR SATURDAY MARKET .VENDORS SETUP IN PARKING LOT .BIKER DISCOUNT .ACTIVATES SPACE
LC .EDUCATIONAL LEARNING CENTER .HISTORIC PENNSYLVANIA RAIL LINE- VANDAILA RAIL LINE .REGIONAL DESTINATION
.PRIME RENTAL SPACE .IMPROVE ATMOSPHERE OF FESTIVAL SHOPPING .CATALYST FOR COUNTY
.BIKE RENTAL STORE LOCATION .ECONOMIC IMPACT .HEALTHY LIFESTYLES .TOURISIM FOR CASUAL ENTHUSIAST
This concept for a regional rail-trail would link Terre Hauteâ€™s National Road Heritage Trail to the South and B&O Trail to the North creating a 5 county 150 mile loop through west central Indiana. The depot trailhead integrates into a town greenbelt plan that would provide pedestrian access to the local park, downtown, Covered Bridge Gateway Trail, and Rockville Lake Recreation Area.
ROCKVILLE DEPOT/ GATEWAY TRAIL TRAILHEAD
TRAILHEAD/ ROCKVILLE LAKE CONNECTION
CONCEPTUAL MASTER PLAN The Rockville Historic Depot and Covered Bridge Gateway Trail trailhead design is a direct result of the analysis and an overall vision for the Parke County tourism region. With the opportunity to redefine the cultural center as recreation and information destination, the depot will be programed to host numerous events throughout the year. The plan allows for important features such as parking, event space, public restrooms, and on-site storm water management. Itâ€™s location extends to the vast network of bike and pedestrian trails within the county. This will allow all visitors to have direct access to local commercial centers, dinning, entertainment and sports facilities.
Existing site conditions and layouts preposed in May 2013 by RoseHulman Institute of Technology civil engineering students. RHIT suggested the trail as a bypass rather than a key feature. There were multiple points of conflict between pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicular traffic. These major safety concerns were either overlooked in RHITâ€™s design or resulted due to program organization and design. 26
After quickly studying the site programs, these conflict points can be reduced by limiting vehicular traffic to a defined parking area. This allow for pedestrian functions to occur throughout the rest of the site.
U.S. HIGHWAY 36
ON-SITE RAIN WATER MANAGEMENT
BICYCLE STORAGE RACKS
GATHERING PLAZA & SEATING SPACE
1” : 20’ 0”
conceptual master plan 28
client meeting revisions
spaces) and vendor lots
5 6 7
8 plan view sketchup model 29
Perspective Sketches + Imagery
view looking South into the site
view of event plaza and seating space
view looking Northwest toward depot building
Before and after of North entry with welcome signage and amphitheater event seating.
Before and after of South entry with welcome signage, parking and bioswale retention.
weekend farmers market space
trail through site
view of entry signage
Planting Palette The choice of planting material will celebrate the history of the Rockville Depot. By specifying vegetation native to the region, the plantings will highlight the depotâ€™s architectural characteristics while blending parking and pedestrian spaces into the landscape. A limited palette of natives plants will be used to identify with the rural location of the trailhead.
plantings and ornamental trees add interest to spaces. They provide a pop of color in the spring or fall and can be very fragrant. Ornamental trees are suitable in small massing near built structures but are also great understory plants in natural settings.
Serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis
River Birch Betula nigra
Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis
trees create and define spaces. They provide year round interest with their changing colors and bark texture. As natural features, trees are suitable throughout landscape design and can be organized to highlight organic and geometric forms.
Red Maple Acer rubrum
Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens
Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor
Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata
Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
Switch Grass Panicum virgatum
Purple Cone Flower Echinacea purpurea
English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia
Lilyturf Liriope muscari
vegetation treats and retains stormwater runoff after large rainfall events. Vegetated swales slow, infiltrate, and filter stormwater flows. As linear features, vegetated swales are particularly suitable along streets and parking lots.
plantings are generally low maintenance and hearty. Perennials provide a variety of yearly color from spring through fall seasons. They can be used in massing forms or showcased as accent plantings. Particularly suitable near building entryways and along walkways.
Perecedent Imagery This compilation of images was used to generate ideas related to the design of the historic depot site. Images include work from two different Ball State University teams, the first as an urban design study in 1982s, and the second a Community Based Project charrette workshop in 2003. Among the 2003 team were Dr. James Segedy and Lohren Deeg.
Learning Outcome Summary The Rockville train depot has been of interest to me for a long time. This is because it facilitates the opportunity to combine two things I am passionate about: bicycling and design. Cycling is fun and promotes healthy living. Design is being able to express an idea through multiple forms of visual media and communication. Over the course of the independent study I have learned how to apply skills from the studio setting and past experiences to communicate the idea for a â€œRockville Cultural Depotâ€? to real clients. The idea for the project started when I saw a Rose-Hulman student design of the site. I took some notes and contacted the Covered Bridge Gateway Trail Association. Because they were still generating ideas, the association welcomed my suggestions as a student. Inventory, analysis, concept diagramming, and programming were a few studio based skills used to identify needs of the site. These methods helped the client quickly grasp what the site was doing naturally. A presentation and display boards were used to convey these ideas to a group of CBGTA members. After our initial meeting, I compiled a booklet of the presentation information for their records. From that meeting, CBGTA and Parke County Incorporated took the conceptual designs to a public meeting to discuss the possibilities of this idea becoming a reality. This was conducted independently without my participation. A committee formed to write the OCRA grant who then asked me to assist in writing portions of the application. I learned the importance of client relationships and the amount of work it takes to gain the support of multiple community entities. The project received the grant and is now waiting for funds to be released from the state. The client will look to professional consultants and contractors for further details needed to complete the project.
References Andreas, A. T., and Isaac Straus. Combined 1874 Atlas, 1908 Atlas, 1916 Isaac Straus Centennial Memorial, and Name Index of Parke County, Indiana. Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1996. Print. “Covington Circle Trail.” Indianatrails.com. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.< http://www.indianatrails.com/ content/covington-circle-trail>. “Eastern Railroad Discussion Crawfordsville, IN Line Questions.” Crawfordsville, IN Line Questions. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?2,270662>. Harkrider, Cathy. “Depot History.” Letter to Parke County Incorporated. 2014. Rockville, Indiana. Magill, Samuel, ed. “Rail Road Prospects.” The Republican [Rockville] 18 Apr. 1860: n. pag. Print. “Old Freight Station Being Razed.” The Republican [Rockville] 14 Sept. 1944: n. pag. Print. “The Pennsylvania Railroad.” Abandoned Rails. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. < http://www. abandonedrails.com/Pennsylvania_Railroad>. Sulzer, Elmer Griffith. Ghost Railroads of Indiana. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 1998. Print. “Trails & Greenways in Indiana.” Google Maps. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. < http://maps.google. com/maps/ms?msid=201921485400337359758.0004b377a53e1f21860c1&msa=0>. Trumbore, Brian. “The Collapse of Penn Central.” StocksandNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <http://www.buyandhold.com/bh/en/education/history/2001/the_collapse_of_penn_ central.html>. 51