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Alex Kielar

Callicoon Depot Project keeping on the tracks

Posted 9/22/23

CALLICOON – Following their public meeting in August, the Callicoon Business Association (CBA), in collaboration with their project partners Callicoon Depot Inc. (CDI) and the Upper Delaware …

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Alex Kielar

Callicoon Depot Project keeping on the tracks


CALLICOON – Following their public meeting in August, the Callicoon Business Association (CBA), in collaboration with their project partners Callicoon Depot Inc. (CDI) and the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB), have moved forward and made progress on the Callicoon Depot Visitor Center Project. 

The current step of the project’s timeline is redoing the stage [former loading dock] in the front of the Depot. In collaboration with the Delaware Valley Job Corps, the CBA was able to get over 30 individuals from the Job Corps to volunteer their time in helping dismantle the stage earlier this month. The dismantling of the stage, according to Callicoon Depot Inc. Vice President, Evan Eisenberg, only took a couple of hours. 

Eisenberg said that they are salvaging any of the beams from the old stage that are still in decent shape, while tossing any that are rotted out. 

“We want to try and put it together in a historically accurate and attractive way,” Eisenberg said. 

Tom Hillriegel, the Job Corps supervisor, was back at the Depot on Tuesday, September 12, working on estimates for the rebuilding of the new stage. The carpentry team, led by Hillriegel, has worked on getting a detailed list of required repairs. They have also assisted with a Sullivan 180 funded planting effort, a fence installation required by the Railroad and have worked with the CBA Beautification team to build new planters for Lower Main Street. 

 Eisenberg said that they are looking to add in expansions and extra attachments in the front of the new and improved stage, which would give bigger bands more space to work with. Eisenberg also said that the exterior of the building will look fairly the same, as they want to be as historic as possible. In assessing the materials as they dismantle, the team looks to reuse as many of the original historic components that they can. 

Some of the components are still structurally sound after 100-plus years. 

President of the Depot, Wendee Greene, said that they were able to get started on this portion of the project using funds from an existing Sullivan Renaissance Grant awarded to the Town of Delaware and CBA following their 2019 Municipal Partnership Grant project. 

President of the CBA, Nicole Vallance, said that the hope is they will be able to finish work on the stage by the time the Callicoon ArtWalk occurs, which runs from October 6 through October 8. 

She said that they want to give the artists the opportunity to be able to perform on the new stage, which in the past was a peak spot for music performances during events like the ArtWalk, Callicoon Country Fair and other community events. 

Vallance said that they have Jim Burden, a recently retired architect from Lakewood Designs, volunteering with them as well. 

“You’ve had a great team effort from multiple people,” Richard Lowe III, Chair of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, said. “It’s hard to get that many people to do stuff for free and work as a group with these kinds of confinements.” 

A community committed

Vallance talked about how their relationship with the Job Corps has allowed them to save money on professional services. While they will have to supply materials, the Job Corps will provide most of the labor. 

“Since the project’s inception, we’ve discussed the various possibilities for collaborating with Job Corps,” Vallance said. “From creating work study projects during build-out, to internship programs once the facility is operational. We are very enthusiastic about this newest opportunity to collaborate with the Job Corps to get students involved in the community by participating in the restoration of elements of the historic Depot.”

According to Greene, the new Depot Stage will be dedicated to the late Brian Sykes, who had offered to help repair the stage shortly before his passing. The Callicoon Depot has also collaborated with nonprofit organization, Standing People Together, to distribute one thousand postcards throughout the area. 

The postcards can be deposited in the on-site Depot mail drop or any traditional mailbox, for the program called ‘Tell Me Your Secret’, which invites residents and visitors to the region to anonymously share their innermost secrets. A public dramatic reading with musical accompaniment will take place at the Depot during ArtWalk. 

The Depot’s outdoor public seating and free WiFi will continue to be available to the public throughout stage reconstruction. 

For more information, to get involved or to make a donation, please email allaboard@thecallicoondepot.org or call (845) 428-9212. 


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