Monday, August 24, 2015

Rusty Steam Engine cloaked in white sheets


Southern Pacific Locomotive No. 982 under wraps

The old Southern Pacific steam engine was donated decades ago and used to be parked on the shore of the lake in Hermann Park, quietly rusting away. It was only recently that it has been "gift-wrapped"; -- at its current interim resting place between the GRB Convention Center and the MinuteMaid Stadium. Presumably, it's all for good: To keep it from crumbling, while the Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage, of which it was to be an exhibit, is on hold. In the meantime, the conventioneers and sundry out-of-towners must be wondering what's hidden under the big white sheets.  

The tourists must be wondering what's been hidden inside 
 Southern Pacific Locomotive No. 982 under wraps 
and in limbo (above); undergoing conservation
work in June 2014 (below). 
Locomotive with scaffolding before the wrapping: Summer 2014 


Southern Pacific Railroad Logo on RR Bridge in Memorial Park 

Meanwhile nearby another truly historic piece - a piece of significant architecture, rather than locomotive engineering - has been demolished: The Incarnate Word Academy Building, dating from 1905. 
At least the old house on Nau Center grounds itself has been spared such an ignominious fate. It sits there patiently, awaiting much-needed restoration work, with a section tarped (unlike the locomotive, its cover is black) and the chimney shored up ... while the high-rise residential and hotel construction frenzy proceeds unabated nearby. 

That Old House in front of the Minute Maid Ballpark