MIDDLEBURY - A popular song during the 1970s claimed that "everything old is new again." Certainly in the case of Middlebury's Trackside Depot, old is definitely new - and on the upscale.
The historic Rutland Railroad passenger and freight depot has been a landmark on Seymour Street, with its trackside facing the Marbleworks, since the early years of the 20th century. Today, a few Vermont Railway trains rumble past the depot, but they haul industrial materials and ore mined nearby; they no longer stop to take on water, coal or passengers.
Now owners Steve and Marcia Dupoise of Trackside Depot LLC have recaptured the look of Vermont's vanished passenger rail days. The husband-and-wife team spent considerable effort - and capital - during 2010 and on into the new year refurbishing the classic structure.
Area architect Jean Terwilliger worked with the Dupoises to create an attractive and functional office building that remained true to its historic past.
It is now Middlebury's newest and most intriguing downtown commercial address.
The Dupoises welcomed several tenants to the depot since renovation work began on the structure last summer. The newest tenant, said Steve Dupoise, is Top Floor, a computer networking firm owned by Alan Marshall and Beverly Wyman.
According to a news release by Trackside Depot, Top Floor is a computer network engineering firm founded in 2001. Its engineers design, configure and maintain computer networks for medium to large size business operations. The firm's sales team sells network-related software and hardware across the United States.
Top Floor started with three employees and has grown steadily in the past 11 years. It is the third locale for the company as it evolves in a major player in Vermont networking.
According to Top Floor's President Beverly Wyman, "We never stopped looking for a place that we would be proud to call our own. We believe we found it at the Trackside Depot."
Wyman said it was the combination of history and renovation that attracted her firm to the depot.
"In the past our growth had been constrained by lack of office space," said Top Floor's Vice President Alan Marshall. "Our new office space at Trackside Depot will not only better suit our needs, wit will allow our company to grow."
The Dupoises said renovation work at the depot will continue until March.