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Creating a 19th century storefront

I will document next the build of a 2-story store in 1:12 scale. The goal is to portray a building as it would have looked in the early 20th century--so orignal with older bones, with "updates" that look like they would have in 1900-ish.


For fun I asked AI for its thougths. I typed in my goal, not specifying this would be in 1:12 scale, and it replied:


When designing a 19th century storefront, consider the following elements to achieve an authentic look:

1. **Architecture**: Research typical architectural styles of the 19th century, such as Victorian, Italianate, or Greek Revival, and incorporate key features like ornate moldings, decorative cornices, and large windows.

2. **Materials**: Use traditional materials like brick, stone, or wood for the facade. Consider adding details like wrought iron accents or decorative tiles to enhance the authenticity.

3. **Storefront Design**: Create a welcoming entrance with a recessed doorway, large display windows, and a prominent signboard. Incorporate details like awnings, pilasters, and transom windows for added charm.

4. **Color Scheme**: Choose historically accurate colors such as earth tones, deep reds, blues, or greens. Consider using contrasting colors for trim and accents to highlight architectural features.

5. **Signage**: Design a period-appropriate sign using hand-painted lettering or gold leaf for a vintage feel. Include the name of the business and any relevant information in a style typical of the 19th century.

By paying attention to these details, you can create a 19th century storefront that captures the essence of the time period and adds character to your building.


Not bad!? Much of the redcomneneded actions are what I planned to do. For the architectural styles of the 19th century I plan to keep it fairly neutral--not specifically Italianate, xyz revival, etc, so it can blend into whatever modern environment grew up around it.


This will have both interiors and exteriors with a removeable front panel so the first step is to build a shell out of plywood. If it were exteriors only I might have chosen foam or another material.




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Erik Goddard
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