The Peter Herdic Transportation Museum (PHTM), located a short half-block from the City of Williamsport’s Historic District, is housed in one of the last remaining buildings exhibiting the history of the passenger railroad in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; The Freight Building. The PHTM belongs perfectly with its neighbors, the Thomas T. Taber Historic Museum and Durrwachter House Museum, Trinity Episcopal Church, Historic Park Place, Covenant Central Presbyterian Church, and the trolley turnaround with accompanying gazebo, creating an important hub in the City for exhibiting the rich history of the area.
In 1865, the railroad station located near the Herdic House Hotel, now known as Historic Park Place, became the hub of Williamsport transportation. The Freight Building was constructed in the 1920’s as an addition to the station to accommodate the increased use of railroads as a means of handling bulk goods and products. The building had been vacant since the early 1980’s and was falling into disrepair when River Valley Transit teamed up with Anthony H. Visco, Jr. Architects to begin limited restoration and considerable renovations to the building.
The exterior of the building, although lacking in detail, was modified slightly to replicate the slightly earlier Victorian period, previously closed overhead doors were re-opened, and windows were replaced. Structural repairs were made as necessary, and the roof of the industrial building was insulated, allowing the use of the space as a museum. Interior renovations included extensive painting and the addition of new finishes and lighting. Accessibility was improved with the addition of handicapped ramps and handrails at the entrance.