Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Two From Main Street, May 1961

Here's a pair of pretty nice photos from Main Street USA, circa 1961. The clock appears to read about 3:37, and the shadows from the west are getting longer. We're so used to the train station after 60+ years that it's easy to take it for granted, but I have always loved the way it looks.

The variety of architectural details on the buildings of Main Street is so impressive; from carved wooden ornamentation to stone, brick, and plaster embellishments, differing window styles, awnings and arches... no two buildings are alike. 

Notice the female CM, making sure that the window display of the Timex store is orderly!


Nanook said...


These scenes just look so perfect. The only thing missing is me - sitting on the 'front porch' of the China Closet.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

There appear to be some posters just outside the loading platforms of the train station (one on the east side and two on the west side). I don't really recognize the designs and they don't look like attraction posters. Does anyone know what was on those posters?

And Sue, is that you in the first pic?

Andrew said...

There's a lot of shades of brown and white on the buildings in the second image. I like to think of the Main St. buildings as more colorful than that!


MAJOR: technically no two Main St. Buildings look alike , but aside from color differences TWO Main Street facades do repeat! In today’s photo the two story peaked front building ( the “Timex” building to the left of the original Kodak camera parlor) facade is duplicated on building #601 on Eastside Center Street ( today decorated as the Hotel Marceline) why only these two facades are duplicated is unknown - but someone at WED figured nobody would notice : but I did!!

Also some of the original 1955 Main Street facade colors often feature some flat tans, creams and pale yellows ... most of the building actually use popular 1950’s residential and commercial exterior colors. Walt Disney World’s Main Street USA also uses many popular architectural colors of the 1960’s despite both Main Streets representing the 1890-1910 period.

TOKYOMAGIC: those Main Street Station platform posters are Silkscreened reproductions of popular Santa Fe Railroad travel posters
Of the 1900’s. In the mid 90’s Disneyland Property Control has a full set of these posters hanging on the entry walls.

Chuck said...

I guess it was even cheaper to take a surrey ride in 1961 than I thought. The sign says "10¢ or a coupon." Just cut one out of your local newspaper's Sunday supplement and away you go!

The variety of architectural details also masks something that we all know but subconsciously choose to ignore in our acceptance of the illusion - that second photo really just shows one building.

MIKE COZART, interesting that both examples of that repeated facade are on the same side of Main Street and only about 50 yards apart...and yet most people - even Disneyland nerds - never pick up on it. I know I never did.

stu29573 said...

Ah Timex. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking! Still, you shouldn't really lick your watch. That's icky.

zach said...

Beautiful scenes today. Try to get that photo of the Main Street station these days at 3:37.

I wanted to sit down on the China Closet porch, too. I hope Nanook will scoot over.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


DrGoat said...

Thanks Major. Lovely pics.
Save a chair for me Nanook.


I just realized I forgot about a SECOND repeated Main Street USA building facade. In today’s picture the building facade between The INA Carefree Corner and the Hollywood Maxwell Millinery Facade ( the front porch building) also repeats facing Town Square to the right of Disneyland Showcase ( Town Square Hotel) - it’s the center building part of the Maxwell House / Town Square Cafe. It does feature a balcony slightly disguising this additional duplicated building. The Town Square facing facade has some alterations done a few times as well on the lower level but still retains the same overall look.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, the last time I was in Disneyland (two years ago), I made good use of that porch, at the end of the night - relaxing and people-watching, while eating ice cream. Great spot, off the beaten path!

TokyoMagic! :) That little girl really does look like me, but I'd only be 1 at that time. (I had to enlarge the picture and look closely because even the man looks like my Uncle Homer - who lived in California and went with us to Disneyland, at times.) Major, please give MK! extra-extra points for spotting a redhead!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you could be like me, yelling obscenities at people passing by, just like in a real town.

TokyoMagic!, Van Eaton had one of those posters, a repro of an old Santa Fe RR poster- it’s the only one I’ve ever seen for sale. Wish I could remember which auction it was, I’d link to it if I could.

Andrew, I think the photo doesn’t capture the subtleties, but you’re right, that part of Main Street does look like a lot of beige, brown, and cream. With some brick reds thrown in! As I’ve pointed out, Main Street does have a lot of colors on other buildings.

Mike Cozart, ha ha, interesting; still, painting a duplicate façade a different color goes a long way toward disguising it, and tucking it away on one of the “center streets” hides the similarities even more. Still, it’s funny to know that they did rely on a few shortcuts. Not as many as one might expect! If the Main Street buildings used popular residential colors, I wonder how such buildings might have actually looked 120 years ago? There used to be some old buildings in Pasadena that were strange colors, mossy greens and such.

stu29573, those old commercials were famous - ABC Sports announcer Jim McKay finished each ad by licking the watch of a passer-by.

dzacher, you could only get a photo like that first one when Star Wars Land kept the crowds away!

DrGoat, we may need to bring a few folding chairs, but there is room for everybody.

Mike Cozart, when I have more time I’m going to have to look for better pictures of the buildings you mentioned so that I can look for the similarities. Today’s going to be one of those busy days… thanks for the info!

Lou and Sue, as usual I’m always in too much of a hurry to sit and take in the scenery. My loss! I will give TM extra points - and on “Black Friday” they are worth double.

Melissa said...

Chuck, any mention of coupons in conjunction with horseless carriages warrants a link to one of my family's favorite songs. (Can't seem to find a link with the tune.)

Love the cute li'l redhead being escorted out of the park by the Men in Black.

Melissa said...

Of course I found it on YouTube AFTER I hit "publish."


"Lou and Sue" said...

Chuck, I just re-read everyone's comments. The first time around I missed your comment about using "a coupon" out of the paper. You slipped that in. :)

" . . . you could be like me, yelling obscenities at people passing by, just like in a real town." Major - LOL!

On that same note, on my last trip to the Magic Kingdom (WDW) I saw (and heard) a dad pushing his kid in a stoller desperately trying to get out of a crowd inside Casey's Corner - while yelling obscenities at the crowd. To keep this family friendly, he said, "I've never seen so many (blankety-blank) people in my whole life!!!" Sooo un-Disney-like (the obscenities, not the crowd, that is).

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa - thanks for sharing that song! I just listened to it. :)


Anonymous said...

Back when Main Street looked like a real street, not a ToonTown movie set.

Thanks Major.


Nanook said...


I think THIS is what you're looking for.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, sorry I accidentally skipped you earlier! I can just see you using a coupon for peanut butter (half price!) to get onto the surreys. If they say, “No”, just make an embarrassing scene, like I do! You’d be surprised how people give you what you want if you are awful enough. Take this knowledge and go forth unto the world. I do think it’s amazing that the façades for the Main Street buildings really DO disguise the fact that there is a giant industrial shed and not a bunch of individual, charming little shops.

Melissa, you’re back! You have been missed. I have heard many Bill Monroe songs, but not that one! Sue (er, I mean that other redhead) was needed back on her home planet.

Lou and Sue, I always yearned to be the crazy old man who sits on the porch all day (in all weather) yelling stuff. If people cross the street to avoid me, I mark it in my dream diary. My Navy dad could swear like… well, like a sailor, but he would never have done so in front of mothers and children at Disneyland. I understand that young father’s sentiments, but jeez, control yourself, man!

JG, Main Street might not have looked like Toon Town, but it does look a bit like a nice backlot movie set! To me, anyway.

Nanook, YES, that’s the one! Thank you for finding it.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, thanks for the info about the posters, and Nanook, thanks for finding examples! I wonder if the posters are still hanging on the walls of Disneyland Property Control or if they have since been removed and possibly offered up for auction?

Sue and Major, YAY...I get extra points! What are they worth on Cyber Monday?

Melissa, you have been missed!!!!

Chuck said...

Major, a Main Street of 120 years ago would have been dominated by various shades of grey. I've seen photos.

Thanks, Melissa! And that "found it AFTER I hit 'publish'" thing happens to me all the time.

Sue, thanks for noticing. Sometimes my jokes are too subtle for my own good...or anyone else's. :-)

"Lou and Sue" said...

Chuck, like in your first sentence, in your comments directly above?! ;)