CONCEPT AND VISION
EMRCA is specifically designed as a high impact, relatively low cost, for-profit business model that strives to generate a substantial return to investors. EMRCA is a prime opportunity for socially responsible impact investing; and is immediately positioned to take advantage of the benefits of the new Tax Legislation guidelines passed by Congress and signed into law in December of 2017. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) provides significant tax and economic benefits for investors, real estate developers, and fund sponsors through the Opportunity Zone Program. All of the properties for the EMRCA and adjacent downtown North Adams development are within the two North Adams census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker in March 2018.
EMRCA combines an immersive, precision-scale, and comprehensive history of post-industrial architecture (the 1880’s to the present) with an equally immersive, precision-scale, and comprehensive history of American railroads, in the context of an intensively interactive high-tech environment.
The new 91,000 sf EMRCA museum building design includes a single, column free gallery space that is 810 feet long, 145 feet wide and 55 feet high. The exhibition space is, in effect, a giant theater, its perimeter wrapped by a 1,200 ft x 30 ft continuous video background projection that allows for climatological and theatrical control-- weather, time of day, and terrestrial and atmospheric movement; and a wide array of special effects— to activate the natural and urban landscapes that provide the context for 1,200 precision scale building models and the simultaneous operation of 107 O-scale model railroad trains.
At the heart of the EMRCA experience is the Digital Control and Command Center, with 12 operators directing traffic and controlling ambient conditions for the simultaneous and coordinated operation of the precision scale trains on 10 separate lines, spanning 9.5 miles of precision scale two-rail track, with three major industrial railyards and two central terminals.
Visitors will be able to locate specific trains and/or buildings on the 110 foot long by 30 foot digital display wall, which includes 40 large scale video monitors providing real-time live feeds from both cameras on the trains on the installation, and from major railroad stations from around the nation.
EMRCA is an urban planning model, bounded by the limits of its physical space, of course, but within those limits and solutions it can be seen as a metaphor for the evolving larger social and political condition involving the continuous dynamic use of the land, and the preservation of those historical aspects of architecture, the built environment, and the transportation system that leveraged the industrial age.