Sibley's Department Store
Rochester, New York
Click here for captioned track plan
Illustrations courtesy of Jeff Faust
This layout is one of the few surviving display layouts built by the Gilbert Display department, in this case by Frank Castiglione and Art Mauzaka. It was originally preserved by Frank Ligocki, who purchased it from Sibley's along with all its accessories and rolling stock in 1953. This was all according to the Gilbert plan of "self liquidating" displays. Frank kept the layout preserved throughout the years, and the preservation of this layout continues today in the hands of Clay and Charlie Buckage, ably assisted by Barbara Rudnicki.
The track plan used for this layout was typical of a style of layout produced by Gilbert in the early 1950's. Another example of the use of this layout plan was the studio layout used in the production of the Boys' Railroad Club television show. 1
The Sibley layout includes the often used harbor scene at one end similar to the studio layout used in the production of the "Boys Railroad Club" television program that aired in the early 1950's. Clay says close examination of the scenes in the program show slight differences that seem to confirm that this layout was not used in the television program.
For more information on the Sibley layout, there is an article which appeared in Classic Toy Trains which tells the complete story, but ends before Clay and Charlie purchased the layout. 2 There is also a brief write up on the layout while in the stewardship of Clay and Charlie, which appears in the Train Collector's Quarterly, complete with color photos of the layout on display. 3 There are also photos of the layout on the myflyertrains.org and the Gilbert Gallery websites. To see the photos, click on the links below.
Additional Sibley layout photos at myflyertrains.org
Additional Sibley layout photos at the Gilbert Gallery
For an interesting look at a conteporary layout based on the Sibley Department Store Layout, see:
Just Aarons American Flyer Trains
Aaron has made some interesting variations which provide more operational possibilities and the scenery is very well done. He has done this while keeping the overall dimensions within the 7 x 16 size of the Sibley layout.
(1) See Articles in S Gaugian Magazine for Jan/Feb 1985 (p33), July 1984 (p29), and May 1991 (p19) for references to this type of layout.
(2) Flyer Survivor, by Jeff Faust, Classic Toy Trains, May 1998, page 84.
(3) A Gilbert Store Display Layout, by Charlie and Clay Buckage, Train Collector's Quarterly, October 2007 (Vol. 53, No. 4), page 10.