Kye's Staff

     History of the Buildings

 

 
 

The history of KYES at Water Tower Square dates back to the 1800s beginning with the Ohio Falls Car and Locomotive Company.  In 1872 passenger and freight cars began to be built.  In 1899 the company's name was changed to the American Car and Foundry Company after merging with 12 other rail car manufacturing companies.  The company prospered through the early twentieth century, bolstered by World War I, and was a component of the Dow Jones Industrial average.  During the war, the company manufactured a variety of military items including helmets, wagons, baking pans, tables, tent poles, and cots. However, with the decline of the rail industry, orders decreased and the company never regained its former prominence. In 1933 the Car Works closed, a victim of the nationwide depression and the country's growing reliance on automobile transportation.  Unfortunately, the company suffered a serious setback when fire destroyed nearly the entire complex later that same year. With the help of insurance money, the company was able to rebuild. The new brick "fireproof" buildings were built at a distance from one another and had slate tile roofs to discourage the spread of fire even further.

During the following years, the site had a variety of uses. The US Government used it for storage during World War II. Then, Bridge City (a discount store), then Rambler City (a car dealership owned by Walt Bales), and finally a warehouse for the Falls City Transfer & Storage Company. The Hoehn family became involved with the property in the early 1970s, and have transformed it into an office complex and business park.

Each building was built for a specific use.  KYES I was the paint shop, and KYES II was the truck shop and paint storage. Each building was built by a separate foreman, which lends to their unique architecture.  The buildings were designed and constructed to allow a maximum amount of natural light and ventilation.

 

   


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