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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:
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.
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.
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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