Author Topic: One last visit to Mecca...  (Read 2808 times)

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wm3798

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One last visit to Mecca...
« on: April 11, 2007, 10:46:33 AM »
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I had occasion to be in Baltimore on Tuesday, so I felt a last visit to the Temple was in order.  Since the N scale department will be closing as of this Friday, this was the last time I would be visiting the old store before it moves.


As always, my pulse quickened as I turned north on Gay Street, and the yellow banners came into view...


As I stepped from my car, the pungent aromas of the city met me, and I looked up for the last time at the familiar sign on the wall.


How many times have I passed through that door since I was a kid?  Who knows.  I can honestly say that in all the times I traversed Gay Street in my life, I probably stopped more times than I passed by.

I didn't feel right about taking photos inside, but those memories will forever be etched in my psyche.  I remember when they still made keys and mixed paint.  I remember the wire bins toward the back that held Lindbergh HO automobile kits.  I remember the old N scale locomotive display... Atlas E-7's, Mehano GP's and SD's, Minitrix K-4's.  And who could forget being in there between Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Wall to wall humanity, solemnly standing in line as if for bread or soup during a Soviet winter.

Lots of folks have commented on how great it is that Ted & Co. are moving out to the suburbs... ex-urbs really.  But I'll be adding the old Klein's to my list along with Memorial Stadium, McCormick's old downtown plant, and Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm restaurant...  Places that were removed in the name of Urban Renewal and improvement, but somehow I'm not sure their absence really improves anything.

A toast to you, 162 N. Gay Street.  You'll be missed. :'(

Lee
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 10:49:16 AM by wm3798 »
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Mark5

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 10:49:55 AM »
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Cool, but I'll be back again. The n scale stock is supposed to remain in the store after Friday the 13th (according to Shane).
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 11:50:55 AM by NandW »

Fotheringill

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 11:29:40 AM »
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I don't know why I assumed that the retail location would be something more than a small, run down building, but, it is indeed a run down building. I guess it was because they have such an expansive website and good processing of orders. Live and learn.

wm3798

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 11:33:45 AM »
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Small run-down buildings don't have large mortgages... ipso facto, deep discounts can be offered more freely.  Hopefully the new location will have the same features and benefits, only without the edgy urban environment.
Lee
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Mark5

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 11:35:09 AM »
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I don't know why I assumed that the retail location would be something more than a small, run down building, but, it is indeed a run down building. I guess it was because they have such an expansive website and good processing of orders. Live and learn.

It's a great place, narrow isles and oozing model railroad stock. Very similar to my favorite LHS as a kid, only with much more stock and lower prices. 8)

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 12:08:34 PM »
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I guess I'll have to go take some pics inside then...  ;D

160pennsy

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 01:29:21 PM »
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A toast to you, 162 N. Gay Street.  You'll be missed. :'(

Lee

Can we get full elevation shots of the other 2 major sides? I can see that old Klein's building as the first n-scale structure Weathering/Scratchbuilding challenge.

Might need some decal manufacturing assistance for those of us that can't roll our own (walk in the park for decal master Tivo ).

Also looks like a nice project to test out N-scale Architect's new brick material (how much of it do you have in stock Chuck?).

Those security bars in front should be fun..(should be a piece of cake for the etched metal king - Chris)
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Iain

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2007, 04:28:24 PM »
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I have actually been there, though I don't remember much of it.
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

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3rdrail

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 05:08:56 PM »
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Used to hang out there fairly regularly in 1965-66 when working for the PRR in Ballamer. Visited again a couple of times in the late 1980's when CSX Transportation moved its marketing department to 100 N. Charles St. for a couple of years. Last visited in August 2004, when I had the good?? fortune to meet Ed, who worked there at the time.

So, I too recall when it was mainly a hardware store and both Ted Klein and I were still "wet behind the ears".

POVC

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 08:59:47 PM »
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I guess I'll have to go take some pics inside then...  ;D

Make sure you get pictures of everything from the basement to the attic, not just the public areas!   ;D

Tim

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 09:03:09 PM »
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I can't believe nobody has mentioned this yet, as it is possibly the saddest part of their moving. Now a lonely train geek cannot procure a cheap lapdance after dropping all his money on trains simply by walking a few blocks towards the harbor...  :'(
Sean

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 10:20:46 PM »
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I'll see what type of spy work I can perform.

John

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 10:24:37 PM »
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Ed .. the loco on the roof should go to the museum .. or my house ..

wm3798

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 10:46:47 PM »
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I cropped the billboard photo down from a full side elevation, which I have saved.  I couldn't get a good straight on broadside of the billboard, the way the highway next to the building curves, you get too close to the building so you're shooting up instead of at it.  (Ironically, the guys who are usually shooting up under the highway bridge weren't there!)  I also have a hi-res version of the shot showing the banners on the front.

The billboard and the front signage can be tweaked using the skew tool on your photoshop.  If you want a good shot of the locomotive on the roof, all you have to do is pull to the side of the JFX and shoot out the car window.  It's about 25' from the right lane, right at eye level.  Of course, you do so at your own peril... :o

I wanted to get some good shots of the building because I was thinking of bashing it out of a DPM kit or two.  But I think you're right, scratch building might be the best answer.  The left side of the building is unspectacular, adjoining a parking lot (which you are reminded does not belong to MB Klein!!)  I have a shot that shows it, but not in full broadside.  The rear of the building butts right up to a parking garage, so you'd have a hard time getting a photo, or even a sketch.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: One last visit to Mecca...
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 11:12:58 PM »
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It doesn't butt right up to the garage. There's a small alley with the HVAC stuff in it (and usually a local).