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New York In Miniature

By Michelle Martinez

The New York Botanical Garden held its 30th year of the Holiday Train Show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The exhibit showcases miniature model trains that move through displays with more than 175 New York landmarks such as the Rockefeller Center, the Statue of liberty and many more. This display was created with natural materials like seeds, leaves, and pine cones.

Paul Busse is the artist behind the Holiday Train Show. He created unique botanical architectures from plants and other natural resources forming the beautiful landscapes and garden railroads in this exhibition. Busse founded the Applied Imagination in 1991 and, in 1992, the first Holiday Train Show was presented in the New York Botanical Garden. Paul has retired, and his daughter Laura Busse Dolan had taken over her father’s company Applied Imagination.

Once entering the building, you are greeted by staff and a large replica of the World’s Largest Store Macys from 1902 in Herald Square, Manhattan. A miniature train goes around the model giving a hint of the wonders that wait inside the show.

The models in this exhibition were all G-scale which is a larger size track that is durable enough to be displayed outside.

Kykuit is a John D. Rockefeller estate with 40 rooms in Mount Pleasant, New York.

The Kykuit model illustrates some of the materials that were used to create this structure and other pieces in the show.

The bridges and railroads used thin steel cables and were made out of stone, wood, ash, and locust bark.

Every piece in this exhibition was carefully detailed capturing the essence of the buildings they are replicating. Here is the New York Public Library, 1911.

The lions that sit outside of the New York Public Library even made it as part of the show. The lions were created with seeds and acorn caps.

Even smaller details like the names on the buildings are perfectly crafted in most of the pieces. The replica of the Apollo Theater, 1913-1914 in 253 West 125th Street, Manhattan showed the attention to detail by having the sign of the original building.

Some of the models also included audio such as the railroads and the old Yankee Stadium, which faintly played a recording from the sports announcers and roar of the crowd from a historic game. There were also landmarks that had been demolished such the Yankee Stadium built 1923.

The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory that houses this exhibition is made from iron and glass. The Holiday Train Show version was made from bamboo, acorn caps, mahogany, lotus seeds and pine cones.

The Holiday Train Show captured the essence of the original landmarks and created something for future generations to look back on.

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