The winter season is in full swing with the NYBG’s 30th Year Milestone Celebration of The Holiday Train Show® (Saturday, November 20, 2021 – Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
The beautiful exhibit which features over 1 mile of train track and a 360 degree surround space in an added gallery is a favorite of New Yorkers. This year’s show features new additions to its collection which now number over 191 miniature structures of New York City and New York State landmarks.
Once again as part of the Train Show on a new combination ticket is the expanded light exhibit GLOW. As the sun sets and the moon rises on select dates, family and friends can wander through the Garden’s festively illuminated landscape and enjoy the 1.5 mile color-and-light extravaganza that begins at 5 pm and ends at 10 p.m.
Tickets are available for the following dates: Thursday, December 23, Sunday, December 26 – Thursday, December 30. In January, these dates are available: Saturday, January 1, January 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22.
When you buy your combination ticket for NYBG GLOW and the Holiday Train Show® expect to be dazzled on two fronts. Indoors, you will enjoy the shimmering lights that ethereally pierce through the foliage of lovely plantings and New York replicas of Applied Imagination’s architectural structures perfectly arranged so that a variety of old model trains, trolleys, whimsical streetcars can speed by the miniature iconic New York landmarks.
And along the outer garden pathways, you will be entranced by the beauty of the striking colors projected against the landscape of trees, bushes and buildings forming colorful patterns of light against the shadows. I went on a moonlit night and the effect was spectacular.
For The Holiday Train Show® look for the new additions celebrating the 30th year of the exhibit.
Showcased are the replicas of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building, the Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, and the John J. Hoffee Tulip Tree Allee, collectively designated a New York City Landmark in 2009. The Allee that leads up to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library is comprised of four rows of distinguished native trees that were planted beginning in 1903 and have grown to a great height.
When I spoke to NYBG staff and Laura Busse Dolan, the CEO of Applied Imagination, she mentioned that the Tulip Tree Allee replica in front of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building are live topiary myrtle trees very ingeniously sculpted to scale.
The Mertz Library is the most important botanical and horticultural library in the world. It houses more than 11 million archival items spanning 10 centuries. In a style reminiscent of a Roman Baroque palace and capped with a green copper dome, architect Robert Gibson designed the striking building in 1901.
The Applied Imagination miniature is constructed with natural materials; the facade is made of horse chestnut bark, representing the structure’s stone blocks. Accented by mahogany pods, cinnamon pods and black walnuts (donated by a patron of NYBG) the replica is a beauty in its own right, worthy of the 900 to 1000 hours for its fabrication.
A part of the display, The Goldman Fountain of Life is the dramatic composition of mythical figures in front of the Library. American Renaissance sculptor Charles E. Tefft designed the fountain in 1905. It was restored in 2005, 100 years later. Like the real fountain, the replica mirrors the Beaux-Arts sculptures including charging seahorses, a lively nymph and a startled mermaid and merman. These figures are covered in tobacco leaves with grape vine tendrils for their hair. Incredibly, the fountain’s basin is created from large shelf fungus.
Some interesting facts about the structures featured in this year’s exhibit that you may not know are as follows. The Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill, one of my favorite NYBG buildings dates around 1840 and can be rented out for weddings and other catered affairs. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 1966 and a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Applied Imagination’s team used tobacco leaves, cork, alder seeds, grape vine tendrils, and Brazilian and turkey tail fungi to the replica.
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features prominently on the other side of the display with the LuEsther Mertz Library Building. The Conservatory which is also a New York City Landmark is considered one of the most superb glasshouses of its time. Lord & Burnham Company completed its construction in 1902. Comprised of 11 interconnected galleries that feature different habitats and plant specimens from around the world, the conservatory also features seasonal galleries, presenting annual floral displays and special exhibitions highlighting world renowned artists. The replica finished in 2014 was constructed of birch bark, cinnamon bark curls, wheat husks and acorn caps. The cupola rests on a ring of large pine cone scales and is topped by a mahogany seedpod and lotus seedpod. If you take the time to look closely, you will recognize these plant parts and gain a new appreciation of the genius Applied Imagination manifests in is miniature structures.
The NYBG The Holiday Train Show® has included the seven bridges around the New York City area. Model trains and trolleys trundle along the tracks along the train trestles. the tallest replica is The Brooklyn Bridge that comes in at 16 feet. Even Hell’s Gate Bridge is included.
Downtown Wall Street area is one of the favored exhibits that New Yorkers enjoy seeing as the recognize the iconic buildings which include the Woolworth Building, the ferry building, the Oculus and One World Trade Center. The Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty replicas are recognizable globally.
NYBG’s 30th Year Milestone Celebration of The Holiday Train Show® on a combination ticket with GLOW runs from (Thursday December 23, 2021 – Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) For tickets and times (and by now, you should purchase a membership, you know you always wanted to) go to their website by CLICKING HERE.