I know guys in my modular club (Our entire layout is built from 2 to 4 foot moduals that can moved around and rearanged as nessesary.) who go out of their way (At least in terms of normal sane humans) to recreate old photos and entire towns that they know of, grew up in or saw and fell in love with.
Hell, I have an entire 200 acre farm I'm going to attempt to recreate in 1:87 scale (HO.) HArdest parts being that my Grandfather's house was colonial in era so i'm going to have to build from nothing using photos, of which I only know the phisical dimensions for three things. (A storm door and two windows.) I'm going to be pushing my algebra and geometry skills to their limit to calculate the rest of them. Then... there's the rest of the barn lot buildings. (Yes, I'm grinning maniaclally at the thought of starting this finally.)
Most of the realy hard core modellers live under the rule of "If I can see it and hold it, I can make it." I've seen some pretty creative applications of that rule too.
If my camera cooperates, I will snap some pics of our layout and more specifically, the machine shop located on the back of the layout.