Thursday, May 07, 2009

Disneyland Construction Series: Main Street U.S.A., Pt. 2



In today’s construction post, you can see the evolution of Town Square. It really boggles my mind how close it is to opening day, and there is still so much to be accomplished. The Opera House is but a shell, and the interior was being used as a mill/lumberyard. Shot #2 is an aerial from May 14, 1955. The Bandstand is still sitting in Town Square, awaiting its last minute upheaval towards the Castle.





In this shot, the Bandstand has been moved and the track for the Horse-Drawn Streetcar have been put down.



Here you can see the work being done on the track switcher for the Streetcar.



See more vintage & current Town Square photos at my regular website.

10 comments:

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

More amazing shots! Is that the Chicken of the Sea Pirate ship hull on the far bottom right of the second photo??? Neat Stuff, Thanks!

Davelandweb said...

Yup - That is the frame of the Pirate Ship!

Thufer said...

just keeps getting better. these early shots are astounding.

Katella Gate said...

I think I can see why they pulled the band stand out. It's constructed at 1:1 scale and just looks too large compared to the other Main Street buildings. Plus, it blocks lines of sight.

Major Pepperidge said...

That must have been an exciting time... people were so willing to work extra hours in the evenings and weekends (how did they do this with so many union employees?). The paint was barely dry on opening day!

CoxPilot said...

Ab-Fab Dave! I remember watching all the progress films (time-lapse, etc.) on TV every week, and couldn't wait to see it all in person. Two weeks after the big opening, we went. Isn't that a camera tower in the background of the last photo?

I never realized the trolley tracks had a switching system. I just thought that the trolley driver drove the horse in the correct direction. I have stood in that spot many times and didn't notice any switches.

Katella Gate said...

Hi CoxPilot:

I don't know anything about trolleys, but that doesn't keep me from offering an opinion.

While these are switches, I don't think there's a manual control for them: I think the blades are spring loaded to force all southbound trolleys around the triangle counter clockwise.

When the vehicle has turned around and ready to leave the triangle, the springs allow the blade rails to give just a little to permit the wheel flanges through, then snap back to it's "right turn" position.

There's a similar spring switch right in front of city hall to get vehicles off stage. Here, the vehicle advances through the switch and then backs up, guiding the vehicle onto the back stage spur.

Scott Schrantz said...

I guess it makes sense when you think about it, but I never realized there would be railroad ties under the streetcar tracks. You just see the rails floating there in the asphalt; you don't think about what's under them.

CoxPilot said...

Katella Gate: Thanks for the info. That's the kind of trivia I drool over. I never realized how those things worked, even though I spent many a year right in those spots. Funny how you tend not to see what's right in front of you

CoxPilot said...

Hey Katella:

I got to wondering if there was an access plate over those switches, and low and behold . . . .

http://davelandweb.com/mainstreet/popup.htm?
images/50s/1956MSEasterParade.jpg