Bethesda, Maryland has a new town attraction - a giant replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Made from dozens of recycled door knobs and door hardware, the glimmering installation is the work of hardware store owner, David Goldberg. Faced with a warehouse full of discontinued brass door hardware, Goldberg decided to get creative rather than sell it off piece meal. What he created is this gorgeous masterpiece.
Goldberg’s discontinued overstock collected dust in his warehouse for over fifteen years. When he finally decided to do something about it he first considered selling it for scrap, but thought of an idea to excite his community instead. What resulted was an eco-mural that honors one of the world’s most famous paintings, while also bringing attention to Goldberg’s store, Union Hardware.
The infamous castle figure in the corner of Van Gogh’s piece was reworked with bright brass door plates, which together look like golden bricks. Clear crystal doorknobs swirl together to make the whispy clouds, while the gleam of thicker brass handles and door knobs make up the moon and namesake stars.
The sustainable mural has indeed enticed the local Bethesda residents to stop by the store, which has been open since 1914. Even local officials have deemed the mural an attraction, and they’ve installed a set of benches in front of it for visitors to take a rest and contemplate the recycled piece.
Goldberg collected over 1,250 door knobs, levers and plates over the years as manufacturers discontinued pieces from Italy, Germany and the United States. Finding inspiration in the materials themselves, Goldberg proves that recycling can enliven a community.