Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

DU sculptor brings past to life with ‘Ghost Trolley’


Professor Lawrence Argent’s ‘Ghost Trolley’ sculpture was permanently installed in Aurora on June 28. PHOTO BY: Wayne Armstrong.

Professor Lawrence Argent, from DU’s School of Art and Art History, has connected past and future in a way. Argent’s Ghost Trolley sculpture was installed on June 28 in the East End Arts District in Aurora, Colo.

The sculpture — 10-feet tall by 20-feet long by 2-feet deep — depicts a single trolley car that was once in use in Denver. Argent first used a computer program to produce a three-dimensional model of the trolley. 

The end product is made of translucent fiberglass and has a frosted-glass finish, which gives it an otherworldly glow. 

Argent says the project, two years in the making, harkens back to the turn of the 19th century. Back then, Aurora was named Fletcher after Presbyterian minister and land developer Donald Fletcher. In the 1890s, Fletcher (the man) built a trolley from Denver to Fletcher (the town).

Argent’s trolley, located in the median at East Colfax Avenue between Elmira and Emporia streets, is at the terminus of the old trolley line.

Besides bringing a piece of the past to life, Argent says he “wanted to play creatively and affect the visual language.” He did so by designing the sculpture to look — for a moment when traveling either east or west  — like a full sized trolley car.

The sculpture is a permanent public art installment, funded by a Community Development Block Grant and by the Aurora Art in Public Places Program.

Argent’s other public artworks include blades of grass on Broadway in Englewood, Colo., and the big blue bear at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center.

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