Thursday, April 2, 2009

Great American Lighthouses at the Morris Arboretum

Here's something cool for anyone who might be visiting Philadelphia this summer (May 23 - October 13):

Great American Lighthouses returns as the 2009 theme for Morris Arboretum's Summer Garden Railway display. With a changing theme each year, the Garden Railway is featuring historic buildings and Great American Lighthouses, some of the guardians that embody America's long relationship with the sea. These are the lighthouses that will be displayed this year: Boston Harbor Light, Brant Point Light, Cape Hatteras Light, East Brother Island Light, Fort Thompkins Light, Mukilteo Light, Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Pass A L'Outre Light, Race Rock Lighthouse, Sandy Hook Light, St. Joseph North Pierhead Lights, Whitefish Point Light, Thomas Point Shoal Light, Whaleback Lighthouse, Whitehead Light Station, Yaquina Bay Light.

All structures are created entirely of natural materials, each meticulously detailed with leaves, bark, vines, twigs, mosses and acorns. Hollow logs, branches and old railroad ties are also used to create unique tunnels, with a cascading waterfall completing the magic and drama to the already-exciting exhibit.

Nestled in this landscape are more than 1,000 feet of track, with ten G scale trains, representing various railroads throughout history. Two trolley car lines, Three cog lines. There is a constant flow of these wending their way across the terrain among woody plants, colorful annuals and perennials. One train passes over a giant trestle that visitors stroll beneath. The finished product is an enchanting landscape that never ceases to delight visitors both young and old.

The lighthouses and the display itself were designed by landscape architect and set designer Paul Busse of Applied Imagination -- -- in Alexandria, Kentucky. He and his staff spent many hours painstakingly constructing the lighthouse models. Busse has always been interested in lighthouses, and he realized that their popularity made them a natural focus for the garden railway display.

The Morris Arboretum is located in the Chestnut Hill Section of Philadelphia PA. at 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

Adult $14.00, Senior (65+years) $12.00, Youth (3-17 years) $7.00.
Student (must have ID) Children less than 3 Free. & Members Free

For more information call 215-247-5777 or

Outdoor Dining service is available at the Café Morris under the spacious tent located in back of the Widener Visitor Center, for hours of operation call