It's hard to avoid spotting art —in all different mediums — in the City of Oxford. This double-decker bus made entirely of Legos is displayed at Bottletree Bakery. It was made by Bottletree owner Cynthia Gerlach who, in a time of uncertainty and hardship, found joy in Legos.
Written by Abigail Nichols | Photographed by Joe Worthem
When the pandemic hit back in March 2020, Cynthia Gerlach, owner of Oxford’s Bottletree Bakery, discovered a new passion with the help from her loved ones.
“I have always been obsessed with wanting to build these Lego birds,” said Gerlach. “I received the kit as a gift, so when Covid hit, I started in on the kit which included a robin, blue jay and hummingbird.”
After seeing her Lego masterpiece, she dove into the gift her godson had given her 12 years prior, a green Mini Cooper Lego kit. Three days later, it was “Lego fever from then on,” Gerlach said.
Looking for another project to start, Gerlach stumbled across a double-decker bus and immediately decided that it had to be built and displayed in the bakery. And so, 1,680 pieces, lots of Polaroid photos and about two weeks later, she had an art piece that brought people together.
Knowing it would be in the bakery, Gerlach wanted to protect it from sticky fingers and found museum quality acrylic boxes to keep the bus safe. Today, the double-decker Lego bus lights up the storefront with its light kit and tells its own story with personalized decorations that were photographed using a Polaroid camera.
The Mississippi state flag, Bottletree Bakery logo, Ole Miss keychain, City of Oxford logo, Square Books logo, Barry Hannah’s “I’d rather be reading Airships” sticker, the Living Blues logo and a photo of Gerlach’s longtime friend, Ron Shapiro, together make it an unforgettable piece of art.
“It’s a conversation starter for sure,” Gerlach said. “When you walk in, you’re met with the colorful, lit box that’s truly hard to miss.”
While some have offered to purchase the Lego bus and others have asked for her to build them exact replicas, Gerlach is happy keeping her newfound passion to herself and to her bakery customers.
“Oh, I definitely have Lego fever now,” Gerlach laughed. Her most recent projects have included the Statue of Liberty and a Lego typewriter that, once completed, will actually type, as well as a 2,469-piece Lego Parisian restaurant that will find its way to Bottletree’s front entrance sometime soon.
Stop by Bottletree Bakery Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., or Sundays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. to see Gerlach’s double-decker bus and to enjoy some delicious food.