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  • Largo Feed and Garden Supply

    COVER PHOTO: On November 15, 1980, a Seaboard Coastline train passes the Largo Feed and Grain Supply store. The siding which once served the store has been long since removed. Julian Cavalier Photo

     Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Cover

    by JULIAN CAVALIER

         The Largo Feed & Garden Supply Building is located in the town of Largo in west central Florida, about 2 miles east of Clearwater Harbor, near the intersection of West Bay Drive and Missouri Ave., the latter also being a part of alternate highway 19. The Seaboard Coast Line's mainline runs immediately west of the building in a north-south direction, and at one time the building had a siding to its west end door. Some railroad ties are still visible giving evidence of the former trackage, now part of a small road that parallels the mainline north for about 300 yards. At the north end of the road, the original portion of the siding still exists and resumes for some distance until it rejoins with the mainline.

         The building is basically rectangular with the west end wall angled, so that the south side wall is shorter than the north side wall. The west end elevation drawing presented here is shown in its true width position, and therefore the door, windows, signs, etc., are slightly distorted in the drawing. But all of these details are actually the same in size as on other elevations. The windows, signs, and floor level door are the same as those of the south wall and east end wall. The north side platform, seen in the west end elevation, is not distorted and is at its correct true size.

    Page 22: A view looking south with portions of old original siding ties at lower left with the S.C.L. mainline at right.

    Page 23: West end view with track fronting the building in the foreground. Note how close the crossing gates are next to the building.
    Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 22 Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 23

         The building is basically constructed in rough-cut concrete blocks with a corrugated tin roof. The corrugated tin siding on the upper portions of both end walls continues along both sides of the building just under the roof overhang. The north end wall has a wide hinged door opening to a small wood constructed platform. The platform steps are precast concrete with a metal railing on the outside. All the windows on this north wall are small and placed high in a line just under the roof overhang. All other doors around the building are large sliding doors. The east end wall has no windows but does have an air vent under the roof overhang. The west end wall has a pair of windows flanking the central double door, one of which has a small window sill air conditioner for the office room inside. The south side wall, although shorter in length than the opposite north wall, has more double doors and full sized windows than any other wall. The largest door on this side wall is an outside sliding door that is moved on a wall mounted slide rail. This door extends down to grade level and is angled at the bottom to the same slope at the grade. Inside steps, from this door, lead up to the raised floor that is on a level with the bases of all doors around the building. Most of the building's interior is one large room with a few partitions.

         The outside walls have various signs indicating the types of goods that can be purchased at this building. Examples of such good include: seed tools, garden supplies such as fertilizers, insecticides, tools, also bird feed, horse feed and tack, hardware items, bails of hay, guns and ammunition, fencing wire, pails, garden hose, Purina Chows, etc.

         The outside of the building is painted white on the concrete blocks down to the floor level. Below this, the blocks are painted a bright red down to the grade level. All tin siding on the upper ends and sides is a light gray, same for the roof. Some of the doors are white while others
    are a natural wood color but weathered to a brownish-gray. The main Largo Feed and Garden Supply Signs have a black background with white lettering. Flanking these signs on the end walls are red and white checkerboard patterns. The long, rectangular, corner signs that list goods sold have white backgrounds and red lettering.

         It appears that this building was erected and positioned to suit the angle of the S.C.L. mainline and former siding. The west end wall angle closely matches that of the tracks and there is no other apparent reason for the building to be angled at that end. It is believed that the siding ended with a bumper whose location is now occupied by one of the road crossing gates at that corner of the building. (See the site plan drawing for reference.)

         Anyone wishing to construct a model of the building could use commercially available materials, perhaps using plain wood for the walls, then covering them with appropriate siding material suitable to the particular scale. (Northeastern Scale Models offers Concrete and Cinder Block siding-Ed.) Corrugated siding is also available commercially for the roof and upper walls. The building is not complicated and does have interesting features and details that would make it an active structure on the model layout for both truck and train operations. The west wall does not have to be angled as on the prototype. The south wall may be extended to the same length as the north wall and the west wall shortened to the length of the east wall to square-up the structure.

         During the several visits I made to this building there was constant activity with trucks delivering various goods and many people with cars and small trucks stopping to make purchases. There were only a few moments when I was able to photograph the building without the view obstructed with cars and trucks. This activity should be included as part of the model scene, but without overcrowding.

    Page 24 Top: East end view with Purina Chows truck making deliveries. Note the upper air vent.

    Page 24 Bottom: Overall southeast view showing most of the various outside signs.

    Page 25: Overall southwest view with S.C.L. tracks crossing the road and the building's west end in the foreground.
    Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 24 Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 25
    Page 28 Top: Partial north side view showing the platform which is the only one at this building.

    Page 28 Bottom: A close-up of the southwest corner showing the outside sliding door at the right. Note the angled west end building wall at left.
    Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 26 Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 29 Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 28
    Page 30: A partial south wall view showing full length door at left end upper floor level door at right.
    Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 27 Prototype Modeler - June 1981 - Page 30

    Article Details

    • Original Author Julian Cavalier
    • Source Prototype Modeler
    • Publication Date June 1981

    Article Album (11 photos)

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3 comments
  • Paul Coats
    Paul Coats Just a few minutes ago finished reading the article on SP Train Symbols. Very timely! I'll be incorporating that into my future SP operations. Some excellent articles, something for everyone. Thanks!
    February 10, 2012 - 1 likes this
  • Rick Phipps
    Rick Phipps Finally....something about SCL. LOL Thanks David!
    February 10, 2012
  • David Lotz
    David Lotz Thanks for the positive comments! Tasha and Chris started posting articles from Prototype Modeler and It's a great idea. I'm continuing the practice and will try to hit things that are of interest to all (at some point in time!).
    February 13, 2012