A Civil War-era railroad station in Fairfax County is being rebuilt and restored as a museum and community center with the help and coordination of a Fairfax County preservation group and the Virginia chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. in Alexandria.
The association is coordinating the Fairfax Station project and providing about $100,000 worth of construction materials and manpower from within the ranks of its 300 members. The association's involvement in the project came at the suggestion of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman John F. Herrity. The nonprofit preservation group, Friends of Fairfax Station Inc., had appealed to Herrity for help with their cause.
The depot, at the intersection of Fairfax Station Road and Smokerise Lane in Fairfax Station, was built in the early 1850s by the old Orange & Alexandria Railroad Co. It served as an emergency field hospital during the Civil War and American Red Cross founder Clara Barton cared for Union soldiers there. The depot functioned as a commuter station from after World War II until it closed in the early 1960s.
The station's owners since 1894, Southern Railway, donated the structure to the Friends of Fairfax Station on the provision that it be moved from its site next to the railroad's tracks.
In 1981, the preservation group dismantled the aging structure "board by board and salvaged about 60 percent," according to Fred Bruney, president of Friends of Fairfax Station. They moved the materials to the station's new location on a five-acre site about 200 yards away donated by local businessmen B. Mark Fried and W.H. Moore.
Architectural services are being provided by Daniels-Harrelle-Newman Associates Ltd. of Vienna, and site engineering is being donated by the firm of Patton, Harris, Rust & Associates of Fairfax.
Groundbreaking on the restoration project is scheduled for July with completion expected in early fall 1983.