Eccentric retirement project transforms W. Wichita yard into ‘steampunk village’

Eccentric retirement project transforms W. Wichita yard into ‘steampunk village’
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 4:32 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A property in west Wichita is turning heads with a yard full of eccentric sculptures, several of which tower above the fence. There is a light wielding wizard standing alongside what appears to be a steam-powered cart on a track and a tower with a pointed roof. There are dragons, clocks and a slew of miscellaneous pieces that look like they are pulled from a unique world in a children’s story.

Gary Pendergrass’s small yard at 3814 West 17th Street “is packed with steampunk, fantasy and science fiction art, each piece fighting for your attention,” a feature from explained of the west Wichita property.

It is a collection that features running water and what some might consider a bunch of junk transformed into pieces of art. Pendergrass started this creative journey at his home after retiring.

On the fence a circular sign reads, “the Village: A SANCTUARY CITY.” The top of the sign says, “Founded 2013.”

“I wasn’t working, so I needed something to keep me off the couch. So, I came over and started piddling,” Pendergrass said of the genesis of his “steampunk village.” …” I was afraid the neighbors would start giving me the evil eye, so I started putting out another piece and another one, and just kept going. And that was eight years ago.”

Now he is out of space.

Pendergrass and his wife live across the street from the steampunk village. From home, they have a perfect view of the creative collection.

“When I started this, I told her this is something I’m doing. I really like this. And she says, ‘well, you aren’t bringing any of that into my house,’” Pendergrass said with a laugh.

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