We visited the US Botanic Garden’s annual “Season’s Greenings” display titled “Roadside Attractions” featuring plant-based recreations of iconic sights from across the United States, with G gauge model trains chugging around, below, through and above the displays.
Lucy the Elephant is a six-story elephant-shaped building that is the oldest surviving roadside tourist attraction in America. Lucy’s original purpose was to promote real estate sales, and potential buyers would stand on the carriage atop the elephant surveying land parcels for sale. Today, Lucy’s carriage still serves as an observation deck for tourists. Lucy the Elephant’s builder, James V. Lafferty, won a patent that gave him exclusive rights for constructing animal-shaped buildings for the duration of 17 years. Lucy is the only surviving creation of Lafferty, who also built two other elephant-shaped buildings. Lucy’s tusks technically identify her as a male, but local tradition has solidified her identity as a female.
Building materials: cork bark, gourd, white fungus, turkey tail fungus, walnut shell, bamboo, eucalyptus leaves, pistachio, peach pit, hickory hull, mahogany pods, orange slices, coral stick
Indian Chief motorcycle, 1948, posted earlier: