the Colaborative Inc

CB&Q Engine House Museum

Client: City of Deadwood

Site: Deadwood, South Dakota

Through determined local efforts and an ISTEA grant, the City of Deadwood decided to restore the CB&Q Engine House and transform it into a Black Hills Railroad Museum. The Collaborative, Inc. was selected to perform this transformation. We began first with a thorough building evaluation based on fieldwork, archival research, and laboratory analysis. The preservation plans and specifications preserved the existing building and restored the missing section. The completed structure contained the locomotive maintenance pit, new ADA restrooms, vending machine area, office, and museum gallery space. The research into archives was the foundation for the design, text, and graphics. To dramatize the scale of the T-3 locomotive, a profile view was painted on the 20-foot high glass wall dividing the museum from the locomotive maintenance area. Behind the huge doors to the maintenance side, a frontal view was painted on the entry canopy. The representations were based on the construction drawings of the manufacturer and the concept was carried through in a series of full-scale sections of the locomotive engine as 14-foot high exhibit panels. An office vignette and timeline completed the interior work. Outside, a plaza interpreted the turntable, exhibit panels interpreted the adjacent rail yards, and a modern trolley stop structure helped to connect the new museum to the tourist route and open space trail system which follows the old railroad bed. The T-3 may be gone, but today, one can appreciate her strength, the history of railroads in the northern Black Hills, and the men who maintained and operated these behemoths of the rails.