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McCormick Stillman Railroad Park Museum

The City of Scottsdale is home to the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park, a point of pride and popular family destination for Scottsdale since the 1970’s. Originally serving as the family ranch, Guy Stillman donated the land and dedicated it as a public park for sharing his love for 2 things: Railroads and the Southwest. In 2007, the City of Scottsdale identified a need to update the park’s masterplan and relocate an extensive model railroad collection.

Recent draws to push-button exhibits, touch screens and animatronics kicked off the discussion of the project’s possibilities – upon further exploration, the interpretive strategy leaned ‘low tech’ toward the direct interaction between craftsman as storyteller and visitor as active participant in the model making process. Arrived from a sloped walkway from the park’s entry, the Model RR Building sits among full-scale train cars and restored depots in the previously under-utilized South Plaza area. Taking its cues from historic train sheds with open structure, generous overhangs, abundant natural light and elevated walkways, the interior experience reveals (3) 1,500sf model railroads, all of different scales (O, HO, N). Each display is discovered from the entrance gallery adjacent to a covered outdoor gathering space. Certified as LEED Gold, the project’s sustainable initiatives include photovoltaic solar panels, underground ductwork, an energy recovery system, use of local and recycled materials throughout. Visitor numbers have grown 4 fold since the building’s opening in 2010.

“Holly Street excels at problem solving, and is sensitive to the needs of the stakeholders and community in (their) design. As architects, they are mindful that the building needs to be of a character and materials that endure not just through the seasons but the ages. As various issues came up, (they) regrouped and reconfigured…each time the building became better, client groups took ownership and the building started to become theirs.”

Elaine Mercado, Project Manager, City of Scottsdale.









scottsdale, az 

12,000 sf


fall 2010

dl withers construction

gbtwo landscape architecture


woodward engineering

bill timmerman

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2012 AIA AZ Goodwin Collaboration Award

2012 Scottsdale Environmental Design Award

2011 ENR Best Cultural Project


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