Saturday, September 20, 2014

Swenson Construction Company

In this installment of the tour of the Fairgrounds Branch we're capturing what we can on Swenson Construction Company, which is spot #348 on the 1972 Map.

The last view I've been able to obtain of this location is a 1969 aerial view.  There's a fair amount of rail activity at this spot location, but some of it appears to be potential offspot cars for Sherwood / American Mineral Spirits.  An aerial view 10 years earlier shows pretty much the same layout for the materials yard, but is devoid of rail activity.

Swenson's Construction Company has a lengthy history in Kansas City and was founded in 1906.  Projects that the company has worked on include:
Swenson's role in and the construction of many of these structures include basic building materials such as concrete and steel.  Given the aerial views that show a relative emptiness of the actual site, it stands to reason then that steel beams, blocks, bricks, and perhaps bagged or bulk cement might've been delivered here or the nearby team tracks for further truck distribution to various construction sites.

I found at least one reference to an employee retirement in 1978, so it seems plausible that Swenson Construction Company can be included on the planned 1970s rendition of the Fairgrounds Branch.

Other fun facts found while searching:

Monday, September 1, 2014


Sometime between yesterday and today, this blog's readership crossed the 5000 total views mark.  In the previous eighteen months, 33 posts have documented my findings of a short Frisco Railway industrial spur in Kansas City, Missouri.  This date also marks (almost) one year since the blog was able to transition from largely speculation and guesswork to one of targeted research due to the find of the 1972 railroad produced spot map.  This change in trajectory gave new life to this project and set the stage for creating a railroad model, not just a model railroad.  It'll likely be some time before I'm able to begin construction, so for now, the research continues to flush out details and narrow down the industrial history of the rail-served properties.  I also hope to experiment with a few experiments in "modern" P:48 modeling, since, after writing about it previously, I've become more interested in that scale as the preferred medium to recreate The Fairgrounds Branch.