July 23, 2015 / Love Letters

Love Letters: The B&O Railroad Icosikaidigon


The interior of the “Icosikaidigon” now the B&O Railroad Museum. Image courtesy A.Currell (Flickr).

Yes, most people know you simply as “The Roundhouse,” but I know you better than that. You aren’t round, you are an icosikaidigon, or twenty two sided polygon.

To the generations of railroad workers who toiled beneath you, your beauty and elegance were not fully appreciated as a cathedral of industry, a sacred site for the burgeoning America.

Your flying buttresses shelter passenger cars rather than parishioners, and locomotives instead of firebrand preachers.

Humbly nestled in West Baltimore, I know what a wonder you are. A part of the city history, and a phoenix from the ashes to welcome the bright new future. I love you. We love you.



Steven Madewell is a historian of technology and dad to two wonderful kids who happen to love trains.

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