Garbage at the Heart of New Holiday Train Display in SF

You won't believe what this guy can do with trash.

When most people pass a pile of trash, they see... trash. Andy Vogt on the other hand, sees something more along the lines of the Golden Gate Bridge. And no, he's not trippin'.

Vogt and his crew of artists were commissioned to make models of 10 San Francisco landmarks. The catch? They had to do it using only second-hand or repurposed materials.

Inside the doors of Figureplant studios in the Mission District, 10 famous buildings rose from the castoffs of humanity.

The buildings are now on display as the landscape surrounding a holiday train set,  at San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers.  It's called the "Golden Gate Express."

The towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are capped with ketchup bottles. The railing is a string of red pen shells.

Bright red Mardi Gras beads hang from the span. A seven-foot tall Transamerica Period is decked out in computer parts... with a collage of cds decorating the tip.

"That can actually be a big factor, what's available," says Vogt. "It kind of guides what we actually get to choose from."

The Ghiradelli Square building is appropriately covered in brown and white electrical outlet covers, the color of white and dark chocolate, Vogt points out. The facade of the colonial-style Bentley Reserve is old cassette tapes.

Vogt says the crew has pillaged thrift stores, salvage yards and, of course, trash piles.

Even containers that hold trash made the cut -- evidenced by the cut-up trash can that forms the walls of Mission Dolores. The roof is tiled with cut-up brown plant containers. A pair of combs form the front doors.  
Vogt points out that if there's any lesson that a little city can provide a regular-sized city, it's that one man's trash -- is another man's palette.

If you want to check it out yourself the display is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Tuesdays-Sundays and is included with admission to the conservatory.

Contact Us