Freight Yard Historic District
Located downtown on the banks of the Hoosic River, the Western Gateway Heritage State Park, (also known as the Freight Yard Historic District), is the site of the former Boston & Maine Railroad yard. The district consists of six railroad storage buildings constructed between the 1880s and the 1890s which served the rail line that ran between Boston and Albany. In the 1980s the area underwent extensive renovations championed by the Hoosic River Revival Coalition, a public/private partnership. The buildings were adaptively reused as a history and science museum, restaurants, and a TV studio. Extant grain cranes, railroad cars and coal pockets were incorporated into the newly built structures. The project work also included the repaving of the walkways originally installed by Italian bricklayers and the installation of period lighting between the buildings.
The district is home to the western portal of the Hoosac Tunnel, which, at 4.75 miles long, stands as a 19th century engineering feat. The tunnel's completion enabled North Adams to become a booming industrial center, developing from a town of 13,000 in 1878 to a city of 24,000 by 1913. The history of the tunnel is interpreted at the Hoosac Tunnel Museum, whose Visitor’s Center is housed in the railroad’s Shippers Office. The Freight Yard Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.