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Modelgenic Buildings 3: Union Machine Works

October 12, 2008

This neat building featuring unusual rooflines and multiple additions is located HERE today and still stands, empty, but strong. It’s a remarkable structure only being a block away from the Western Pacific depot on third street, to be featured in a future article. The other interesting feature is that at some time in it’s life it was rail-served via an overhead crane and a siding embedded in the street (since removed with the rest of the WP line down thrid street)

Here’s a historical photo found in the room of the N scale layout I featured in the NMRA tour I mentioned a couple of months ago.

WP 77 and Union Machine Works

Number 77, a beautiful 4-6-0, guides her train into the street trackage outside the Depot on third Street. This scene hasn’t changed too much since this photo, the locomotives and rolling stock are probably scrap, the tracks gone and the box company is now the back of a jazz club, but the rest of the scene remains, including the neat building on the right, Parker Electric (now also empty) which will certianly be featured in a future article.


about 150 feet down the street and over 60 years in the future, the Union Machine works still stands. The distinctive painted signs would make an awesome modeling detail for any brick model structure. Here’s a closeup of the sign.



Around the Front, the main structure is visible from second street, looking SE. Note the adjacent office made from a different type of (yellow) brick, this is also part of this unique structure.


Here’s a closeup of the office, note the ornate brickwork and the still functional, but hopelessly obsolete oil-bath electric transformers on the pole in front, this is indicative of the number of huge power-hungry electric tools that once filled this interior:


An interesting building that may find a place in your industrial-age heart or at least on your layout, it’ll make a challenging, but worthy scratchbuilding project.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian permalink
    October 12, 2008 9:29 am

    Box Company into a Jazz club? Usually its the other way around.

  2. November 28, 2010 1:30 am

    I am going to build a representation of the Oakland Union Machine Works. My building will capture the essence of the original building and have appropriate details but will be proportioned to fit my G-scale layout. I have taken adequate pictures of the building but have no information on the roof of the main shop or the skylight. Does anyone out there have photos or other info on the roof? I have pictures of the inside but I need to know what it looks like from the top.

  3. Karen Applebaum permalink
    November 4, 2011 7:46 pm

    Hello! Was wondering — can you share the contact info for whoever has the historical photo of Union Machine Works, or ask them to get in touch with me? Thanks very much.

    The N scale layout from the NMRA tour is amazing!

  4. Eric permalink
    December 1, 2012 6:34 am

    To whom this may concern,

    I am curious to know if you have more photos of the Union Machine Works building? who is the owner/property manager you contacted? we are very much interested in finding out the history of this building and any help you can provide would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

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