Griffith Park Railroad

PM_GRp(Db)047

1957

The Eameses carried out this project for a miniature railroad concession in Los Angeles in 1957, the same year that they filmed Toccata for Toy Trains.  

At this point, the couple had already designed the Eames House (now a National Historic Landmark) as well as the LCW, deemed “the design of the century” by Time magazine. This project, however, was just as important to them as any other. Charles had loved trains since boyhood, and both Charles and Ray passionately worked on projects that engaged children throughout their careers.

The Eames Office designed the station, rail yard, and graphics for Griffith Park Railroad, including concessions tickets, posters, and signage. For the station house—painted in olive drab, red, and black—they gained inspiration from Victorian railway architecture and typography.

They also built other architectural elements and props to the same scale as the train (one-fifth life size), including a water tower, utility and storage sheds, side stations, trestles, signal posts, and oil drums.