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Main Street of Yesteryear in Basement

The homeowner built a full-scale replica of a turn-of-the-century Main Street in his basement.

John Scapes of Schaumburg, Ill., has been working for three decades on a very intricate creation in his basement. The retired mechanical engineer has brought an incredible attention to detail to his project, building a full-scale replica of a turn-of-the-century Main Street. Scapes says he was inspired by a an exhibit he saw at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago when he was 9 years old.

Everything looks authentic, down to the last detail. The street is paved with faux cobblestones, the streetlight actually works and carefully placed mirrors make the street appear to curve.

Scapes' little piece of Americana includes a barbershop, hat shop and a photo shop. The general store's shelves are stocked and the store includes a post office and a working hand-cranked phone.

The double doors of the sawmill open to reveal the pristine workshop where Scapes crafted his nostalgic world. Other neat features include storefronts that open to reveal storage space, a mirrored saloon and a milk wagon in the corner that conceals plumbing.

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