Kelton Avenue Carhouse and Shops - 2007
These buildings were the heart of the car maintenance department for the streetcar system from the late 1890's to 1948 when the last streetcar line was eliminated. Trolley bus heavy maintenance was also performed here during the trolley bus era which lasted until 1965. One large carhouse that faced on Kelton Avenue is totally gone, the remainder of the buildings are still there and still in some limited use, although all are in various stages of disrepair.
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In 1948 this building was referred to as the "Paint Shop". It faced on Kelton Avenue and sided on Oak Street. To the left of the Paint Shop was a large carhouse which has been torn down. Across Oak Street in what is now an open grassed field was a four track yard accessed from Kelton Avenue.
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The Paint Shop at the corner of Kelton Avenue and Oak Street. While there was a second floor in the building it is broken up by large sky lights wells open to the ground floor which gave much natural light for the workman. I don't know what the second floor was used for if anything.
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An inside shot of the paint shop showing how well the sky lights worked. On the wood beams is stenciled a red "POS" and a black "NEG". These marked the trolley wires used for trolley buses. The streetcar tracks have been taken up or covered over.
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Another shot of the paint shop sky lights. They worked very well as it was a cloudy day when I took these pictures. The walls have heating coils as did the other buildings. There was a steam plant located behind the office building. You can see the smoke stack in the picture of the office building.
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The rear of the paint shop taken from Oak Street. This end of the building seems to have a basement. Is it possible that this building dates from the horsecar era? There once was a large opening where there are now two small green windows in the rear of the building. There is also evidence of a large door on the Oak Street side of the building. Either could have been used to move supplies into and waste out of the building. As late as 1917 the Columbus Railway Power and Light Co. still had 14 horses. We don't know where they were stabled.
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Another view of the rear of the paint shop building. To the right, off camera, behind the chain link fence is the shop building shown in the following picture.
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This is the old shop building with the front wall missing. You can still see streetcar tracks in the floor. The black circular frame hanging from the ceiling is what remains of the hoist used to pull tractions motors out of streetcar trucks. This hoist can be seen in a late 1890's photo taken inside the shop. Between 1898 and 1902 The Columbus Railway Co. build some streetcar bodies in this shop. Until the very end this is the building where heavy maintenance was performed on all their equipment. The photo was taken from Oak Street. The Paint Shop is on the left of the photo and the office building on the right.
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This photo taken from Oak Street shows the back of the paint shop to the left and the complex's office building in the foreground. The building behind the white bus is the shop building.
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At the back of the lot are the remains of a combination carhouse and storage building. Some pictures suggest that the work equipment was kept in this area. The streetcar company had a small fleet of work equipment that included snow sweepers, a water car, center cab flatcar motors, a crane car and other equipment for working on the track and overhead. The picture was taken from Oak Street.