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Monday, April 20, 2015

City Planning

What's a City without Buildings?

Its time to start building buildings for this layout. And not just any old buildings. But models of actual buildings from San Diego's historic Gas Lamp Quarter. Because, you know... I like to do things the hard way.

Looking North up San Diego's 5th Street c.1915. Most of these buildings not only exist today, but are beautifully restored as part of San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter.

The Plan
Each street on the layout represents a different decade, from the 1890s to the 1940s. Pretty much the entire era of the San Diego Electric Railway Co (1892 to 1949). The architecture of the buildings will be of the era of the street on which they stand. 

Because this is a model railroad and space is a premium, this layouts blocks are rather short. My blocks are just over 100 scale feet compared to San Diego's 200 x 300 feet. This for the most part relegates me to modeling exclusively corner buildings. Though I might be able squeak in a small mid-block building somewhere, its not a priority. Corner buildings are just fine.

An old edition of a San Diego newspaper touting some of the city's finer buildings. I originally wanted to include all these buildings on the layout, but I have since come to realize that the U.S. Grant is too huge. It's around 200 feet wide and wouldn't compress down to 100 feet very well. But the Union Building would fit well, especially since it housed the offices of the San Diego Electric Railway!

The Ultimate Goal:

This photo of the double-decker San Diego Electric Railway #1 rounding the corner in front of the Backesto Building was a big inspiration for the conception of this layout. Other than getting the layout up and running as designed, replicating this scene in model is my ultimate goal. Modeling ol' #1 will be the cherry on top. Until then, I think I'll start by constructing a model of the Backesto Block building. That should be a good challenge to start with. Yes sir! Should be a good challenge!


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