North Buckeye Street
For years, this well-preserved and rare building provided railroad watchmen a view of rail traffic moving up and down Buckeye Street and
housed the controls for various safety signals at the crossings on east-west thoroughfares such as Sycamore, Walnut and Mulberry streets. This single elevated house replaced older street-level shanties that previously stood beside each grade crossing; one man could now do the work of many. Traffic along West Superior, Walnut, Mulberry and Taylor streets would slow to a halt whenever a train rumbled through town.
The signal tower was renovated in 1994 and then again in 2004 with the help and dedication of several downtown organizations and local labor. No one knows exactly how old the tower is, but photographs of the structure with a diesel Nickel Plate Railroad crane have indicated to historians it may have been built in the 1930s. The rail line itself is a rare structure to encounter within a courthouse square area. Its presence helps define the character of the downtown area, and is an important part of Kokomo’s history.
Outstanding Design: Functional
Year Built: C. 1940