Angry At His City, This Potsdam Resident Is Filling Up The Town With Toilets

RealClear Contributor


Talk about someone being pissed off.

What Would You Permit?

It all started with a simple answer to a single question 10 years ago: no. This is what Hank Robar was told when he attempted to get a permit for a donut shop. And when the city wouldn't allow Robar to have his donut shop, he gave them something else to perfectly illustrate just what he thinks of that answer.

Hank got the best of them by creating an art installation that zoning laws couldn't deny: the toilet garden. Because they have flowers in them, the toilets are officially planter boxes. So there's nothing anyone can do about them.

Toilet Garden

He's built three toilet gardens, total, and he's pretty proud of his achievements. As he bluntly told a Public Radio reporter, "I pay taxes on the stuff so I decided to do it." 

All three of the gardens are designed in much the same way, though his newest garden is reinforced with steel wiring to detract vandals. The toilets are secured to tall wooden posts, which are decorated with multicolored tape. Flowers are planted in the bowls and tanks to create the colorful end result.

Growing a Grudge

You can find the toilet gardens on Market Street, Pierrepont Avenue and Maple Street in Potsdam, NY. And according to Hank, the gardens aren't so much about his grudge against the city anymore. "I really like them. I enjoy putting up these toilets." 

How does your garden grow? Out of toilets, or something more commonly seen? Share this story, and any pictures of your own garden, on Facebook!



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