Fire Guts Recently Closed Model Train Store in Culver City

Allied Model Trains was a Los Angeles fixture for 69 (!!) years -- and had been located in Culver City since 1975.

In 2007 it downgraded it's location from the Union Station look-alike building that currently houses Samy's Camera to the Art Deco building across the street, at the corner of Sepulveda and Barman.  Then in July of this year, even this location closed.

And finally, last Thursday at about 9:45 pm, a fire gutted the space. According to CBSLA.com, "Flames were visible from the front of the store when firefighters arrived."

Just kind of puts a sad capper on the Allied Model Trains story. As appropriate for a wake, does anyone want to share -- in the comments -- a happy memory of visiting the store? 

Here's a picture of the exterior in better times:

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Comment by Phyllis L Davis on September 21, 2015 at 11:32am

I never had a chance to visit the store but passed by everyday on my way to and from work.  I loved getting caught at the light so that I could look at the displays of trains.  So sad to see it end this way.

Comment by Scupine on September 7, 2015 at 3:18pm
Bravo Sreamliner! Thanks for jumping in!
Comment by Streamliner on September 7, 2015 at 3:12pm
Actually, Allied Model Trains moved from its Pico Blvd. location in West L.A. in September of 1989, after the business owner, Allen Drucker, built the miniature Union Station at 4411 Sepulveda. After decades of watching his customer base age, Drucker determined that the model railroad hobby was not attracting many younger enthusiasts and that the Baby Boomer generation was probably the last one that would cherish the hobby on such a grand scale. So, around 2005, Drucker felt that the handwriting was on the wall, and he set out to find a tenant for his 12,600 sq. ft. Union Station building. Around Christmas of 2006, he signed a lease with Samys Camera, which would give them possession of the building the following June. He then sold the model train business to three partners, who leased Drucker's 4,200 sq. ft. "Art Deco" building across the street, where the train business operated until July of 2015, when the partners filed bankruptcy and shuttered the store. Now, after the fire, with most of the inventory destroyed or badly damaged, Allied Model Trains is gone for good. Drucker is in the process of building a website telling the Allied Model Trains story: Worldsgreatesttrainstore.com
Comment by Jeff on September 5, 2015 at 11:58am

I only visited Allied once since moving to the Westside in 2009, but it was a memorable experience.  As I was browsing the aisles, a very familiar Brooklynite voice boomed a few feet away, "He wants the New York one!"  I looked up to see Adam Sandler, shopping with two young boys.  The employee who was assisting me bolted from my side and made a beeline for Adam.  Adam's film career may be in decline, but he was a class act that day -- he told the employee to take care of me first.  I never returned, but I can appreciate why the place was such a cultural landmark.  I understand that Steven Spielberg was also a frequent customer.

Comment by Les Goldberg on September 4, 2015 at 8:55am

Very sad, indeed!   As a model train hobbyist, Allied was the Holy Grail.   If it didn't have what you wanted, it probably didn't exist.   And, as a native of Los Angeles (born in downtown LA and raised in Culver City, the store's architecture was inspired by the original Union Station on Alameda Street across from Chinatown.   It was unfortunate that Allied was forced to vacate the space but, as I learned from the owner, model train hobbyists have dwindled in number during the last 25 years and it made it difficult for maintaining the business as it once was.

At least Allied is still around, but without the original landmark, the corner of Sepulveda and Braddock will never be the same.  

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