Join Laura Busse Dolan, owner of Applied Imagination, for a quick tour of the New York landmark replicas created by her company of artists that most speak to her, from the familiar silhouette of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to the Electric Tower of Luna Park. They’re all here on view at NYBG through January 21 as the Holiday Train Show continues into the new year—don’t miss it!
Saint Patricks Cathedral
One of the earliest examples of our more elaborate botanical models, this structure took three different artists to complete, and uses over 60 different plant parts in its detail. The front rose window alone contains Siberian iris seed pods, grapevine, poppy seeds, eucalyptus pods, and pine cone scales.
I just love the use of grape vine to elaborate the ornamental iron roof cresting of this Manhattan Brownstone. You’ll find many examples of this throughout the display!
Hendrick L. Lott House
Notice the siding made of birch bark and the beautiful roof made of layered, individual pine cone scales. We collect hundreds of different pine cone scales from all over the country to build from; each has its own character and size which appeal to many different architectural elements.
Tree Root Waterfalll
One of this year’s water features is made from a 500-lb. root we harvested from a fallen tree in Alexandria, KY.
Amazing to me that this botanical model was created in 1992, and is still standing 26 years later! Notice the roof made entirely of layered Acorn Caps. Did you know we can’t use the body of an acorn? In the early days we would try—they made great lamp posts—but quickly realized they were the first thing to be stolen by little creatures that find their way into the garden!
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Notice the architectural details, made with tiny pine cones, cross-cut cinnamon sticks, walnut shells, and various pods and brick work made from cedar bark. Did you know cinnamon is actually the inner bark of a tree?
New Amsterdam Theater
As New York’s oldest surviving Broadway theater, this model holds an important place in the Holiday Train Show. It's detailed using pepper berries, eucalyptus pods, cinnamon, acorn caps, pine cones, orange slices, bittersweet berries, pear-shaped seed pods, and Norfolk Island pine branches. Our structure celebrates the original version of the building, which has undergone many changes over the years.
St Bartholomews Church
While this botanical model is detailed using almost 50 different plant parts, one of my favorites is the simple use of a gourd to create the top dome. We interviewed many different gourds before finding the perfect fit!
Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge
The Queensboro Bridge is our newest botanical bridge. Notice the coarse stone on the piers made with elm bark, the intricate steel beams made of sandbar willow branches, and finials topped with locust thorns. We harvest the willow we use on our botanical bridges by the truckload in the forests around our workshop in Alexandria, KY.
Luna Parks Electric Tower
These cascading fish fountains on Luna Park’s Electric Tower are so charming; notice the badam pods and scales made from pine cones! Part of our collection celebrating Luna Park, Coney Island, which was tragically destroyed by a fire in 1944.
Find Laura Busse's favorite highlights from the Holiday Train Show here at NYBG through January 21, 2019!