B&O Museum Stronger Than Ever 10 Years After Snow Collapses Roof

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—As a mega snowstorm approaches New England, it’s time to remember what a blizzard did to Baltimore a decade ago.

As Mike Schuh reports, it took millions of dollars to restore a priceless piece of history here in Baltimore.

Ten years ago a blizzard destroyed a national treasure in Baltimore. The roof of the then 119-year-old B&O Museum giant couldn’t handle the weight.

It took millions of dollars and over a year to rebuild.

“Well, we’re standing in the middle of the 1884 roundhouse, and this is literally the crown jewel of the B&O Museum, and it houses the most significant pieces of the collection,” said David Shackleford, B&O chief curator.  “Well, where you’re standing now, you’d be able to stand here, but you wouldn’t be able to stand from bay 6 to 16.”

It’s all been rebuilt, including all but one of the damaged engines.

“The girders fell along the boiler, and the cab did an extensive amount of damage,” Shackleford explained.

But the generosity of foundations, businesses and regular people put these wheels back on the track.

The collapse has allowed good things to happen without a doubt.

“The phoenix rising from the ashes, totally changed the way this museum operates and functions, and it’s really the silver lining. All those clichés are wonderful because it’s the truth,” Shackleford said.

The birthplace of railroading in the United States is here. All its treasures are safe under a redesigned roof.

A collapse 10 years ago worked to keep this place strong for decades to come.

More from Mike Schuh

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