The Model 2.0

These are unauthorized photos of work in progress, but show the detailed planning that is going to make EMRCA a unique attraction, and may turn North Adams into a world-class destination.

Here is the working model of the 700′ long interior of the model train museum in 1:24 scale, being discussed by EMRCA prime mover Tom Krens, operations manager Ben Sosne, and planning committee member Jim Hunter.On the left you see one of the major considerations in the move from adapting an old building into creating a new building on a custom-made footprint – a service corridor for track access and the multiple projectors required to create moving backdrops on stadium-size screens.  On the right is the museum’s second-floor education department, with glass walls looking out over the display; underneath on the main floor is the museum shop.  At the bottom of the frame is the representation of North Adams, and at the far end a composite of New York City and other urban locales , with varied terrains between.

This visitor’s view from the cafe looks down the expanse of the display, more than two football fields long. 

This reverse-angle view looks out over the urban core, with curated and fully-replicated signature buildings in white, and generic buildings in gray.  Note the elevated viewing platform, and the dramatic open control room.

Here’s a closer look at this essential and fascinating component of the display.

Again reversing the angle for a closer look.  Note the ever-changing projected background.  And if you look closely under the point of the raised walkway, you can see replicas of Fenway Park and Albany’s “Egg”, to balance off the Big Apple attractions of the display. 

This view suggests how the constructed 3-D landscape will meld with the projected background.  On the wall behind the model, you can see graphics of some of the featured buildings in the display.

And here is a working list of buildings to be included:

Here’s another view of the urban end of the display, and below that, to give a sense of actual human scale, a prototype full-size model of the Empire State Building as it will appear in EMRCA museum, and as it currently resides in the gutted Mohawk Theater.

This model of the North Adams core as re-imagined by Tom Krens shows, on either side of the Route 8 overpass, the existing Heritage Park buildings in brown and the massing of the new EMRCA building in white.  In the foreground is a speculative new luxury hotel based on a design by Pritzker-laureate architect Jean Nouvel (the wood block just to the right represents the existing Holiday Inn).  This is Tom’s vision for a revived North Adams predicated on projections of more than a half-million visitors per year.  Immediately behind the new hotel is a proposed museum of American art set within a “central park,” as already envisioned in the City’s Master Plan. 

Above the proposed hotel is the site plan for the re-imagined downtown.  At the far right is the existing ball diamond of Joe Wolfe Field.  To its left, across the area slated as the first stage of the Hoosic River Revival, is the footprint of the new EMRCA building, colored gray and shaped vaguely like a guitar neck.  The pentangular building is imagined as an Art of the Motorcycle Museum.

Here’s a closer view of the display case seen in the background of the first North Adams picture above.  I would normally apologize for my reflection in the glass, but in this case I think it helps convey the size, heft, and extreme detail of the O-gauge locomotives that will make EMRCA such a kinetic attraction.