HO scale building & structure kits have come a long way in the past couple decades. There are now highly detailed, quality, craftsman kits for almost any type of structure...........Almost! There are a few areas of classic Americana that for some unknown reason have gone totally neglected by the kit manufacturers. I've always wondered why. I've searched the catalogs and online offerings of just about all of them & keep coming up with nothing.
1. Those of us that grew up in the transition era well remember the mid-size Grocery Stores that dotted the landscape of every town in America. There were the type of "supermarket" that pre-dated the huge, sprawling ones we have today. They were usually false front, brick structures, roughly about 60' wide & perhaps 80-100' long. The store marquee was usually located along the false front. Predominate among them were stores like A & P, First National and IGA. Just about every town had one or two of them. They are classic Americana, yet there are virtually no kits of these types of stores, that I know of.
2. Why does every manufacturer insist upon putting out a kit of "the little red one-room schoolhouse"? I live in the northeast, where there are a considerable number of these one-room schoolhouses still standing. I've seen very few that were red. Most are white, gray or just stained shingle. What about the typical school found in most small to mid-size towns of the transition era. Usually brick, two or three stories and intended to accomodate two or three hundred kids. Here again, I find almost no kits for these type of structures, yet they existed in nearly every town.
3. I can find virtually no kits of the typical mid-size town Hospital, yet most towns had one. In fact, except for a couple European versions, I can find no HO kits of any Hospitals.
4. Automobile Dealerships: If you grew up in the post WWII era, as I did, think back. Remember what the typical car dealership was like? Often made out of irregular cut stone, painted white, with large showroom windows & two or three service bays. Colored pennants adorned the lot and every September, when the newset models came out, searchlights pierced the sky out front. Almost everyone in town turned out to see the new cars. It was a social event! Here again, this is a structure area that is classic Americana, yet almost totally neglected by the kit manufacturers.
All of these aforementioned types of structures are typical to every town of the transition era, an era of railroading that a very large percentage of model railroaders embrace on their layouts. So, why do the kit manufacturers so totally ignore these types of buildings? We have tons of kits of downtown stores, gas stations, factories, warehouses, stations, engine houses, chrurches & homes. I would really love to see some well done kits of the aforementioned structures. It's one area of the hobby that is lacking.