Friday, June 12, 2009

Ideas for a 'New' E.L.Moore style building

As I mentioned in the Bunn’s Feed & Seed Plant posts, I was an avid reader of just about all the E.L. Moore building construction articles that were published by Model Railroader magazine throughout the ‘70s. My education started with Bunn’s and ended with The Button Works, which was probably his last MR article before his passing in 1979. I must admit that I was more interested in the early ones; my interest was waning near the end of ‘70s: many of the earlier ones I tried to build one way or another, and the later ones I was happy just to read about.

I love lists, so this wouldn’t be complete without a list of all of Mr. Moore’s MR building construction articles beginning with Bunn’s.
Bunn’s Feed & Seed Plant, Aug ‘73
Jones’ Chemical Company, Mar ‘74
A Three-Tower Station, Nov ‘74
Mr. Pottle’s Pot Works, Sept ‘75
Ceresota Flour Mill, Nov ‘76
Cannonball & Safety Powder Works, Apr ‘77
Stuckum Glue Works, Oct ‘77
Village Store, Jan ‘78
Butz Milling & Feed Company, Mar ‘78
Bott’s Cotton Gin, Sept ‘78
The Button Works, Sept ’79.

Mr. Moore was very prolific and published building construction articles in other model railroad journals. As best as I can tell, these are the ‘other’ articles he published during that same time period.

Clarabel Hotel, Railroad Modeler (RM), Feb ‘74
RMC Paper Company, Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC), Apr ‘74
Rhube’s Rhubarb Plant, RMC, July ‘74
Uncle Sim’s Snuffery, RM, Dec ‘75
Figet’s Cheese Factory, RMC, Aug ‘76
Kelley’s Folly, RMC, Jan ‘79
A Firecracker Factory, RMC, July ‘80

I plan on constructing a ‘new’ E.L. Moore style building, and I’ve given some thought to what makes a Moore a Moore. So, here’s another list. This one is of what I think are the characteristics of an E. L. Moore building from the ‘70s (in no particular order and based on my biased and admittedly limited reading):

1. HO scale
2. More-or-less completely scratchbuilt. Some commercial detail parts can be used – windows and doors come to mind – if they are handy, might speed up construction, are relatively cheap, or the builder is in particularly lazy mood.
3. Simple construction materials for the main forms and structures. Balsa gets used a lot.
4. Full-size HO scale plans that will fit within the 8 ½ x 11 confines of 2 or 3 pages of a magazine.
5. Oriented to beginners, not craftsmen.
6. Allegedly buildable in 2 weeks – beware, the 2 week Bunn’s project took me 6!
7. Low cost, $2US is frequently quoted as the total cost of a project. These days, that’s roughly equivalent to about $12CDN.
8. Small-scale industries, more biased to ‘mom-and-pop’ than corporate or franchise operations.
9. Most harken back to a ‘simpler’ time.
10. Different sized, interlocking forms are common and give the projects visual interest.
11. Outrageous back stories and funny company names are the norm – the Cannonball & Safety Powder Company takes the cake.
12. Frequently have interesting roof detail – makes sense, most model railroads are observed from above, so might as well make the roof interesting.
13. Many have windows that are open.
14. Most take up on the order of no more that 1 square foot of layout space

So, here are a couple of candidates that might lend themselves to be built in a Moore-esque fashion.

When I saw this one while speeding down Highway 7 I was immediately reminded of Bunn’s Feed & Seed, Jones’ Chemical Company, and the Butz Milling & Feed Company.

Shortening the long warehouse portion and tower might produce something interesting. Also, although it has green metal siding on its end-walls, nearby buildings have red siding and that seems to make for something with more visual impact.

And then there is the closed-down Kaladar Hotel located, naturally enough, right in Kaladar, on Highway 7. I’ve never stayed there, but Debra and I have eaten in the restaurant when it was still open. It reminds me of Mr. Moore’s Clarabel Hotel project. Restored to its former glory and supplemented with interesting figures, it could be a centrepiece item.

Maybe this metal garage could also qualify.
It doesn’t match any of the significant Moore criteria discussed above, but it would make use of a lot of the Moore style of metal siding, and maybe more importantly, I could see adding a gapping, ragged hole in the roof where a backyard rocketeer had something get away from him one night ala the Cannonball & Safety Powder Company. There’s certainly an outrageous back story in there somewhere in the finest Moore tradition.

No comments:

Post a Comment