The Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad was the first railroad to link Chicago and the Mississippi River, in the 1850s. This forty-stall roundhouse, large even for its time, became a major center for railroad activity for the CB&Q. It served as a repair and construction facility from which more locomotives and cars than any other CB&Q installation were built. Steam engines, passenger cars, freight cars, precision parts, tools, and machines were designed and built, beginning about 1858.
"The roundhouse is an amazing survivor of an important era in American engineering and architectural history. Eric DeLony, chief of the National Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record, has called it 'the most important surviving cast-iron framed building in North America.'"
From: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shop Complex: Historic Structure Report. By John P. Hankey, August, 2000.