The heart of a rediscovered city – Boyertown Rail Yard
Railroads are all about connections--connections between places, between people, and between the past, present, and the future. Giant conquerors of space and time, heritage railroads like the Colebrookdale are powerfully-effective tools in community building. The Colebrookdale's work goes directly the three activities central to reviving historic communities like Pottstown and Boyertown: affirming identity, inspiring investment, and giving purpose.
The Boyertown Rail Yard that is our northern terminus is a place of meaning and identity for those who call Boyertown home. Located in the heart of the community, the station building that bore the community’s name upon its sides once located here was a hive of activity for many generations of Boyertonians. The yard was witness to the arrival of Thomas Edison each week for six years; to the arrival of funeral directors who came to help with the opera house fire; to the shipment of all Boyertown-made products, from produce, to stoves, to automobiles, to caskets. Today, that production is gone. The railroad yard we inherited was a blighted space in the center of a community trying hard to re-invent itself. It was, therefore, a space of potential.
The Colebrookdale Railroad, the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks, Building a Better Boyertown, and the Berks County Community Foundation embarked on a year-long Visioning & Strategic Planning process for all of the community of Boyertown in 2016. Through that effort, the community identified the railroad yard as the first priority in creating a town center space that served the needs of the visitors that came to experience Boyertown through the railroad. Phase 1 improvements proposed include historic gas lamps salvaged from Victorian Philadelphia (identical to those Boyertown once had), a bronze fountain, century-old brick paver walkways, and iron fencing from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Industrial History. Phase II improvements will include a welcome center and community center on the old station site.
To date, the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust has invested over $1.7M into the yard. We are looking to raise the remaining funds to bring Phase I to completion. Fundraising for Phase II (the station welcome center/visitor's center) will continue indefinitely.
Your investment will help us make the yard unsurpassed in the genre of tourist railroads. It will become a source of civic pride for the citizens of Boyertown and the surrounding area. No other community in Berks or Montgomery County will be able to boast of such a space. Repurposing and re-investing in the yard makes a strong statement affirming the future by respecting the past. The Boyertown Yard’s power to re-establish and re-affirm Boyertown’s sense and spirit of place, of permanence amid change, is critically needed in this, a time of transition for the community.
Sponsorship opportunities include the following. Your commitment can be spread out over five or more years. Click on the button to make your donation.
Your name will appear on one of ten
cast topiary urns to be located through
the rail yard.
Your generosity will get your name forever
emblazoned on a bronze plaque on one
of the new trees which will provide
welcome shade in the Edwardian park
setting of the completed rail yard.
Your generosity will get your name
forever emblazoned on a bronze
plaque on one of 50, 1890s operating
gas lamps identical to those once
found in Boyertown.
Your generosity will get your name forever
emblazoned on a bronze plaque on one of
the new trees which will provide welcome
shade in the Edwardian park setting of
the completed rail yard.
Your name will appear on one
of ten plaques to be featured on this
monumental bronze fountain, the
centerpiece of the new town center.
MONUMENTAL ENTRY GATES
One generous sponsor will have their name
featured on a plaque gracing these beautiful
gates. Our antique wrought-iron gates will
welcome visitors to the splendor that is the
LANDMARK LEVEL SPONSORS
Thank you to:
Steve and Joann Maguire and the Maguire Family Foundation
The Scott and Susan Bentley Charitable Fund
Mr. Robert Hart, Sr.
Be a part of this special group. Make your donation today.