The Harry Bennett Memorial Roundhouse
When the Railroaders Memorial Museum opened the Master Mechanics Building in April, 1998, it became apparent that a facility was needed to care for the Museum’s growing collection of rolling stock. The Museum embarked on the design of a quarter-roundhouse to provide a place for restoration, maintenance and secure exhibition.
The first pie-shaped wedge of the building was completed in summer 2002. In 2007 and 2010, word came that additional funding was secured to complete the building and house the Museum’s most prized piece of rolling stock, K-4 #1361.
The facility design was accomplished thanks to funding by a generous Museum patron, Robert Bennett of Los Angeles as a tribute to his grandfather, William Henry “Harry” Bennett. Harry Bennett had served as the first foreman of the newly constructed Juniata Locomotive Shops in 1889. Promoted to master mechanic in 1901, he oversaw, among other things, the construction of our very own K-4 #1361 as well as over 6000 other Pennsy steam locomotives and the construction of the East Altoona Roundhouse.
Harry Bennett held the position of master mechanic until 1921, longer than anyone had held that prestigious Juniata position. This roundhouse construction project will feature a working 105-foot turntable, indoor storage bays and outdoor storage spurs to display and interpret the Museum’s rolling stock collection – all in a facility to be known as the Harry Bennett Memorial Roundhouse.