East View of the Old Train Station in Historic Nacogdoches
The design of the Nacogdoches train station, built in the early 1900's, combines a
standard railroad plan with Victorian characteristics that are brought under the control of classical
form. The bay window with roof cupola on the west and the decorative nonfunctional beams on the
eastern pediment seen in this view are implicative respectively of Queen Anne and Stick Victorian. But
they are centered in a classical form even as the doorways and windows are balanced in number and location.
The three horizontal bands that surround the building at the base, lower, and upper window levels continue the
theme of classical order over Victorian excess.
The architectural design of the eastern pediment becomes a condensed metaphor for a moment
in time represented by the station itself and the life experiences of those who have passed this way---
a moment when oppositions are precariously balanced before transformation. Past form has not yet
been translated by future movement; classical order has not yet degenerated into romantic extravagance;
and tradition has not yet changed in the course of the journey ahead. The image of the scales presents this
uncertain moment of stability in a state of tension. The horizontal, weighted in the extreme on its outer limits,
is tenuously supported at the center by an ancient key acting as a fulcrum, itself containing a vacuum at the middle.
The two inclined vertical beams, heavily anchored at their bases, and acting as counterparts to the weights above them,
slash through the horizontal to meet as an arrowhead at the summit. The horizontal represents the balanced tradition of
the past. The verticals are the possibility of transformation in the future. The ancient key at the center of the pediment, and
the point on which the whole Process depends, is the doorway of the Old Train Station.
(Next Picture: Mize Azalea Gardens)