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Last Bldg 20 Open House
The end of the club's tenure in Building 20 came in July 1997. Preceding that, the club held the last open house on 7 December 1996. At the beginning of the open house they staged a "Golden Spike" ceremony symbolizing the completion of the layout. John McNamara hired a Maynard, MA, goldsmith to fabricate an HO spike made out of real gold. At 2:00 P.M. the two club governors, Peter Lee and Alvar Saenz-Otero drove the spike into the tracks in Burns. They paid tribute to the over 700 club members who had contributed to the layout for the previous 50 years. They preserved the golden spike in a display case (built by Andy Miller) and moved it to the club's new home in Building N52. As part of the activities Andy Miller custom painted some 50' boxcars as a 50th anniversary club car. The club sold a number to mostly past and present members. The last operating session in Building 20 was 26 April 1997, with the last run of the Aaron Burr passenger train scheduled for 10 P.M. Soon, the club began dismantling the entire layout to meet MIT's deadline of July 1997 for vacating Building 20. When the building was finally demolished, a time capsule was buried to be unearthed in 55 years, the lifetime of Building 20. The club contributed a club 50th anniversary boxcar and a CD of a cab camera's view around the layout. The main concern was whether anybody could read a CD in 55 years.
(c) Mark Schupack & Joe Onorato

The following pictures were taken and scanned by Kenneth G. Goutal during the Open House.
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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

+1 617 253-3269
x3-3269 (on campus)
Email: tmrc-web@mit.edu
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