In part 2 of this series, I said it was now time to get building. So, let’s get a start!
My first step with the Merced Ice & Cold Storage facility was to determine the footprint. Using the foam core mockup, I placed it on the drawing of the layout track plan, and adjusted it so that a freight car can just peek out from the side, like in the photo snippet seen in part 2. Then I marked points on the drawing, and drew in the footprint of the main building. If you look back to part 1, you’ll see that this rear portion of the facility is ice storage. However, also looking at my rendition of the plant, we see that the cold storage space is attached to the ice storage, and to the loading platform, but that section of the facility will make the rear of the building larger than the drawing I have, by about a third.
I then drew in what I think is a representative size tor the cold storage area of the facility, and then connected the sections to the edge of the layout.
The overall drawing then gives me an idea of how much styrene I need to order, and logically, I think there would be a door into the ice storage and a separate door into the cold storage, so I need to sort out two sets of dock doors.
I don’t think the facility needs windows on the rear of the building. The one photo of the side of the building that I know of shows what might be faux window openings on the sides of the building for aesthetic purposes, but the rear wouldn’t likely even have those. This is the “all business” side, and just plain brick is what I would imagine we would see.
With graph paper, I now started drawing the building sections. The main section of the building as taken from the drawings by Jack Burgess works out to 16 1/8” long on paper. The front of the building has some ornamental brickwork at the top of the walls, but being the back of the building, facing the company property, I decided to dispense with that ornamentation on this side and save the company some money during construction. The height of the building I set at 7”. Essentially, my giant graph paper had a big rectangle on it that needed additional details.
I then looked at the photos of the building, and it appears to have a foundation sill of formed concrete that the brickwork is standing on. This makes some sense to me as the ice storage room is noted in the Sanborn drawings as having a concrete floor. The drawings show a curb about 2’ hight at the front. I thought about wrapping that to the rear, but that left me with a problem in look, and a problem for, I assume, the people constructing the original building as well.
Standing next to a freight car, the door height winds up being about 4’ from the ground. Most loading docks and platforms are aiming to be right about that same height to roll on and roll off. If anything, the dock can be slitty lower than the door, but not half the height. I also figured that the doors into the facility would not be super high, so I wanted to set the door sills at about 3’.
That kind of setting would put the building sill, and the dock, somewhat out of wack. I decided to set the sill at 3’ tall on the rear of the building, as it will form a lip for the brick and a location to rest the loading platform. This may be a compromise for building, but I have no drawings or photos of the back of the building, and I’m comfortable with the decision as it’s likely to be unseen under the platform.
With that decided, I then located an opening for a double door, using the dimensions of a set of Tichy doors for the dimensions. This still leaves the building very plain on the rear, but I highly doubt there would have been big windows into the ice storage room at the rear here, and photos of the building show this area had false windows that were bricked in along the public street.
I then moved on and drew another rectangle, this one 5 1/2” wide and 6” high, to begin to flesh in the cold storage space for food products. While this isn’t a huge space, and with doors that match the doors on the main ice building, it’s even a little smaller than one might think, judging from the Sanborm map drawings of the facility, the measurements work out to be about right. I made the structure lower, 6” instead of 7”, as it’s what I imagine being an addition, added to keep food cold, and the buildings like this that I have seen usually are slightly smaller than the building they are attached to. This will also provide some visual interest as the roofline will drop and change instead of having one giant brick rectangle on the layout.
From here, it was time to place a materials order for at least the core of the building. I’ve ordered some black Evergreen styrene sheets, .080” thick, that will form the core of the structure. When those arrive, it’ll be time to get cutting and gluing.
Next time we’ll look at the detail changes to a stock Red Caboose R-30-12-9 PFE reefer, and get the first car started.