Famous Model Train Displays Find New Home in Warren County
Warren County is now home to the displays of model trains that attracted millions of visitors to the lobby of New York City’s Citigroup Center every Christmas for thirty years.
The exhibition’s designers, Clarke and Barbara Dunham, have created a new Adirondack attraction built around the displays, called “Railroads on Parade.”
The 5,000 square foot exhibit of trains, bridges, cities and landscapes is housed in a building in the center of Pottersville, not far from the place where the Dunhams established their scenic design studio decades ago.
Clarke Dunham first came to the Lake George area in the early 1960s to design sets for the Lake George Opera Festival; since then, he’s created scenery and lighting for more than 300 productions, including popular Broadway shows for which he’s been nominated for Tony awards.
“Railroads on Parade” opened to the public earlier this summer, and earlier this week, the Dunhams invited local officials and the media to a special viewing of the exhibition.
“Not long ago, I wondered if we’d get here, but that was yesterday,” said Dunham, who conceded that he never expected to become the owner of a tourist attraction.
But after Citigroup canceled its sponsorship of the displays as a cost-cutting move in 2008, the Dunhams received hundreds of calls from people asking where the train displays could be seen, the Dunhams said.
“We realized we had the foundation for a unique attraction right here in Pottersville,” they said.
New York State Senator Betty Little was among the officials who was impressed with the new attraction.
“Kids love trains; this will be a great destination,” said Little. Kate Johnson and Tanya Brand of the Warren County Tourism Department said the attraction would draw group tours as well as more visitors to northern Warren County.
“Railroads on Display” is open Sunday through Wednesday from noon to 5 pm and Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. For information, call 623-0100.