Interview with SPQR Bricks

Italy has some of the most impressive architecture that can be found anywhere in the world (some of it dating back to the earliest days of Western Civilization). It is probably no coincidence that Italy is also home to some of the best LEGO builders specializing in architecture. Now two of these builders – Luca Petraglia and Antonio Cerretti have teamed up to form SPQR Bricks.

Their first collaboration so far has produced a custom version of the Colosseum. Unlike the official LEGO set of the Colosseum (that was recently released) which depicts this world landmark as it can be seen in the current day, the version that SPQR Bricks has created imagines the Colosseum as it originally stood back in the glory days of the Roman Empire.

I have been following (with great interest and admiration) Luca and Antonio’s work on Instagram for a while and so it is quite an honor to have them as guests on this blog. Thanks again Luca and Antonio for agreeing to answer these questions !

1) I know most of Luca’s models so far have focused on Italian landmarks that were built much later in history than the days of the Roman Empire that the name SPQR refers to. Antonio on the other hand has done builds depicting structures from Ancient Rome. What led to you both deciding to collaborate on some LEGO builds?

We have known each other for some years now and it did not take us long to discover that we share the same vision of building with LEGO bricks. We have the same passion for detail, for architecture and especially for challenges, and so it was natural for us to decide to collaborate. We are also very good friends and that makes it so much more interesting and fun.

2) Was your decision to do this build of the Colosseum spurred on by the release of the official set? Or was this something you had been planning even before the official set was announced? I can totally relate to the desire to depict the Colosseum in its original glory instead of the ruins that most people are familiar with. Is there any reason you chose to use white bricks instead of the tan bricks used in the official set?

The construction of a model of the Colosseum had been in our plans long before LEGO announced the release of the official set. We have worked on several projects, even more demanding than the Colosseum, but for various reasons we didn’t get a chance to realize this particular model until recently.

As for the use of white, if you look at the part of the Colosseum that is still intact, you can easily see that the color is much closer to white than to tan. Furthermore, all historians are sure that the facade was made of Roman travertine, which has different shades of white.

3) What kind of research did you need to do to figure out the original structure of the Colosseum and all its details with some historical accuracy? Clearly time has taken a toll on the structure and the ruins that remain now only give us a hint of the glory of the Colosseum as it was originally built.

We drew on different sources, both on the internet and in print, and we also visited the Colosseum to ensure that our model would represent the original structure as closely as possible. But we were also aware that the relatively small scale of our model would force us to make some compromises.

Some have pointed out that we have not used any colors in the corridors. But at this scale it is practically impossible to do a 100% faithful reproduction. Also, no one really knows what colors were originally used and how they were arranged and so to avoid making a mess we decided to opt for something more elegant and clean. In any case, we are extremely satisfied with the result.

4) I have not had a chance to study the instructions of the official set versus your version. Did you go with the same scale? Was your model influenced in any way by the official version ? While it sounds easier to build a complete, symmetrical structure than it is to recreate the ruins, I am sure your version had its own unique design challenges. Can you comment on that?

The scale is not the same as the LEGO set which uses the 1×4 arch piece as it’s basic unit. We have not studied the LEGO set either, but any similarities in the techniques used are purely coincidental. In fact, this project is based on a draft of a microscale amphitheater that Antonio had done well before the official set was released. We adapted that design to make the Colosseum with the 80 arches per floor that it had at the time of its greatest splendor.

5) I know you are offering instructions for your version of the Colosseum on Rebrickable. Have you also built the whole thing for real? If not, do you have any plans to build it eventually?

For now we have only built the model digitally, but we will surely build it using real bricks at some point soon. We may even build two – as a symbol of our collaboration.

Unfortunately, the virus prevents travel and at this time it would be quite difficult to build something together. That is why we decided to only publish digital renders for now.

6) I am assuming that you plan to continue building other structures from Ancient Rome (whether they still exist in some form or not). Is there anything specific you have in mind for your next build?

We are already publishing other models, and all of them will connect with each other and with the Colosseum, to create an ever larger and more complex diorama. In particular, we can already announce the publication of the instructions for LEGO models of the Temple of Venus and Roma (the largest temple in Imperial Rome and one of the largest of antiquity) and of the Basilica of Massenzio (sections of which have survived to this day).

7) You are probably familiar with Rocco Buttliere’s amazing microscale recreation of Imperial Rome. It is clearly unrealistic to do that whole thing at the scale you are using for the Colosseum but maybe you can try to do some key sections of Imperial Rome? It would be something to put on your to-do list right after Luca finishes building the entire Piazza del Duomo, ha ha …

We know the work of Rocco Buttliere very well. He is a master of microscale construction. His reproduction of Ancient Rome is fantastic but the scale he used is really small. Our scale being a little bigger, will allow us to include more details. With our project we want to cover as much of Ancient Rome as possible – probably even more than what Rocco did.

Piazza del Duomo will take a long time and of course a lot of bricks, but who knows, maybe one day we will be able to finish it.

You can follow

SPQR Bricks

Luca Petraglia

Antonio Cerretti

Interview with Alexandre Canavarro

In the interest of continuing to provide perspectives other than my own, I am happy to invite my third guest to this blog – Alexandre Canavarro. He is an AFOL from Brazil who has been working for the last couple of years on a very ambitious LEGO cathedral project. It is still very much a work in progress, but what Alexandre has managed to accomplish so far is already very impressive. I have been following Alexandre on Instagram for the last two years, watching this amazing project take shape. With its massive scale, soaring columns that come together in stately arches and colorful “stained glass” windows that are built using multi-colored transparent bricks, Alexandre’s cathedral is definitely turning out to be a LEGO build for the ages. Not being content with the amazing exterior of the cathedral, Alexandre has also gone the extra mile to pack the interior with numerous details including an altar, pulpits and pews, chandeliers and even a pipe organ. I am grateful to Alexandre for agreeing to answer a few questions for this blog.

1) This LEGO project is clearly something you are very passionate about. Were you inspired by any real cathedral in particular, or is this an original design using elements borrowed from various cathedrals? Did you have to do a lot of research in order to come up with the design?

I would like to thank you for all the support during this project. It has really become a big passion in my life for the past two years and I feel truly honored by this invitation.

Like many of us AFOLs, I had played with LEGO during my childhood years. LEGO reappeared in my life a few years ago, thanks to my son. He asked me for a LEGO set and so I went to the store to buy it. I was amazed by all the great stuff on the market and I knew at that very moment that I was going to get drawn into this hobby once again.

Here in Brazil, Catholic churches are everywhere. Religion has always been present in people’s lives and it didn’t take long for me to make the connection between LEGO and churches.

This cathedral model is my own creation and the design came out of my mind. It incorporates elements from several real cathedrals and I took inspiration from other people’s designs and techniques as well. I originally thought of building something small on a 32 x 32 base plate. But then I wanted to use the minifig scale – I just love LEGO minifigures ! I also wanted the model to have an interior. I remember taking all the pieces I had and starting to build a model guided only by images that I had in my mind. At that point I wasn’t focused on details – it was all about the shape and size.

Then I did a separate and more refined build for the top of the tower, which remains the same today, and this pretty much dictated the size of the current model. I soon realized that this was going to be a very large model and that I would need tons of pieces to make it happen.

At this time, I started doing a lot of research on real churches and cathedrals. I also found some beautiful projects built out of LEGO. I remember seeing a church – a convent actually, that I found on the Beyond the Brick YouTube Channel. It is from a Portuguese builder, and it is all built in white bricks. It was just gorgeous! After seeing it, I knew that the choice of white bricks would be great. Here is the link to this wonderful project –

2) I would love to hear more about your process for designing this build. I recall seeing some pencil sketches you made on graph paper. Did you plan the entire thing out the old fashioned way ?

Yes, I did. The whole process was, and still is, done the old-fashioned way. I just love freehand drawings.

I remember reading a book about design. The author said that the beginning of any creative process should always start with pencil and paper. Even today, with all the technological marvels available to us, this is an important first step to take before turning to a computer. I totally agree – there is a lot of great design software out there, but paper sketches are a great way to quickly visualize your ideas and start working on them right away.

In fact, when I first started I only had some ideas to do some freehand building. Once my model started to take shape, I used a pencil and paper to make some sketches. Then I kept going back and forth between doing sketches and building with real bricks. Of course, I had to do many calculations for the number of pieces. To do that, I used paper and Excel spreadsheets.

Later on, when I started working on the sides of the building, I made a microscale model, which helped me a lot and gave me a better idea of ​​the size and proportions. In general, you can say that this has been a process of trial and error, but a very fun process nevertheless.

3) When you started this build (which I know is still a work in progress) did you have any idea how big the overall build was going to be ? I am assuming you didn’t just start with a small section and keep adding to it as you went along.

I knew from the very beginning that it would have an interior. I also wanted to include some elements that are present in real churches and cathedrals such as a pipe organ, a bunch of seats and a decent altar. The first elements of the current model that I built were the tower and the pipe organ. The tower gave me an idea of how big this model was going to be. As for the pipe organ, I thought it was too small and I knew I would have to make it bigger. More space would be needed. Once I had the tower, the organ and the altar finished, I built the first section – the front section, which is three 32 x 32 base plates wide by one 32 x 32 base plate long. I guess that was the time when I realized that this thing was going to be huge !

4) This model is chock-full of interesting elements and details. How did you go about figuring out how to build these using LEGO (feel free to use examples) ? Are there still some aspects of the build that you haven’t completely figured out yet ? I know that you still have to do the roof above the main hall (which does look very challenging !).

I spend hours and hours just enjoying, admiring and studying real cathedrals and other LEGO MOCs of castles, churches and cathedrals. Every single element captures my attention. So I take some pieces – some generic and some more unusual, and start experimenting with different possibilities to recreate what I have on my mind. I usually start with the main element of what I am creating.

An example is the pipe organ. What calls my attention the most are the pipes. I instinctively thought about using the 1 x 1 round bricks. Then I saw a very unusual piece, at least for me. A technic piece that I later discovered is LEGO part number 62462. It is like a pipe with a slot. I remember having only one, in orange color, but that piece was just perfect for that use! I calculated the necessary amount and put it on my wish list so I could later buy it in the appropriate color – light bluish gray.

The pillars were another thing that I created playing around with some pieces. I was thinking of using the 2 x 2 round bricks, in white color. But I found them to be very expensive. So I thought about using the 1 x 1 regular white bricks, but they were just square. Then I saw some 2 x 2 light bluish gray round plates and started to stack them together. I just loved the result – these plates added more texture and color variation to the build.

The high arches were another problem. LEGO does have a great variety of arch pieces, but they are limited in size. I found the solution by searching the internet for custom LEGO arches and I found great creations using different types of inverted slope pieces. The roof above the main hall, also known as “crossing” in cathedrals, used to be something that scared me a little. Recently I figured out how to do it and now I know it is just a matter of getting the rest of the pieces I need and finishing it.

There is actually one section that I am still worried about. It is the back section of the cathedral. I have some ideas but I still have some doubts as well.

5) As I understand it, you had to move this build from one location to another. Did you plan for this build to be modular, so you could break it into multiple sections for easy transport ?

Yes, I did. From the very beginning I knew that it would have to be moved at some point. I planned to divide it into four main sections. You can think of slices along the longitudinal axis – the front section, two middle sections and finally the back section. The tower can also be taken apart into two sections.

This is a very sturdy model. It contains many structural elements and some of the walls are made up of three or sometimes even four layers.

6) Related to my previous question, do you plan to display this model (once it is completed) in LEGO shows or any other locations outside your home ? I am sure that a lot of people would love to see this model in person.

Yes, I really want to do this! It is really cool to see the reaction of some friends and relatives who had the opportunity to see this model in person. I find it very difficult to capture all the details and the atmosphere of this cathedral with photos or videos. This is a big model and nothing can really recreate the experience of standing next to it in person.

I know that there are some LUGs (LEGO User Groups) here in Brazil. Here in my city, there is usually a LEGO exhibition every year in December. I am afraid that this year we won’t have any exhibitions due to COVID-19, but I am not going to be done with this project this year anyway.

I have a dream of taking it (once it is finished) to some of the LEGO exhibitions in the US some day. You have this wonderful LEGO community there and it would be an honor to participate in one of these exhibitions and hang out with some fantastic LEGO builders.

7) If you had to take a guess, when do you think you will be completely done with this build ? I understand that any timeline you have in mind may now be subject to change due to COVID-19.

I would say that it will hopefully be finished by the end of next year. For us in Brazil, the only option to get separate LEGO pieces and in large quantities is through Bricklink. There are no Pick-a-brick walls in the (unofficial) LEGO stores here. LEGO’s official website in Brazil also does not offer separate pieces.

The economic consequences of this pandemic have also affected the exchange rate of our currency vs. the US dollar making LEGO pieces much more expensive. Fortunately, things are improving here and we are heading towards a quicker recovery than we had imagined. I see good things happening for us in the LEGO community in 2021.

Thank you Alexandre for the opportunity to feature your amazing cathedral build on this blog ! I look forward to see this model once it is finished – hopefully in person if you do make it to one of the LEGO events in the US !

You can follow Alexandre here

and watch a video posted by Bevin’s Bricks here

Interview with Michael Haas

One of the great things about being an AFOL is that you belong to a community of builders from around the world who share the same hobby as you. Although our paths may never cross in real life, there is still a sense of camaraderie among us AFOLs on the internet (especially on social media) with all of us supporting each other’s work and of course learning from each other.

Nearly all of my LEGO models have been based on American skyscrapers and yet I have found a lot of inspiration in the work of my guest Michael Haas who is based in Germany. His models of classic European buildings are often stunning to behold – with a level of facade detail that you would not believe is possible with LEGO. It’s no wonder that he has become one of the most popular LEGO builders on Instagram. Michael was kind enough to agree to answer some questions for this post and it is definitely a great honor to have him as a guest on this blog !

1) It is clear from your work that you are passionate about classic European architecture. There is probably no shortage in Germany of these amazing buildings to draw inspiration from. How do you pick the buildings that you would like to convert to LEGO form ? As I understand it, some of your models have been based on buildings that no longer exist.

Yes, indeed here in Germany there are many examples of great old architecture – especially in Berlin where there are a lot of amazing buildings. What inspires me the most are commercial-use buildings. Around 1900 there were a lot of big so-called “warenhäuser” (department store) buildings that were built. There were two big players – one was Wertheim and the other one was Tietz. They had a battle going on to see which would have the bigger and more beautiful department store. The results were these amazing commercial cathedrals, which sadly don’t exist any more. But smaller commercial-use buildings are also super interesting for me. Of course I always have a look, to see if they can be built with LEGO but mostly I go with the ones that suit my taste, ha ha.

2) Once you have selected a building, what is your process for designing the LEGO model ? Do you use sketches or any other methods to plan out your builds ? Also, how do you decide how big to make the model in terms of studs ? Do you try to use a consistent scale for all your models so you can eventually combine them into a street layout ?

Once I select a building, I start building the model from scratch. I use the minifigure scale for all my builds, so that I can combine them. A dream of mine is to have a complete street view. Sadly I don’t have space for such a street or should I say thank God, because that would be my financial ruin. But thanks to you, I found my way to (which I can use to do virtual builds) and so there are no limits any more on what I can build.

3) You are a true master at replicating the wonderfully detailed facades that these older buildings have, using LEGO – a medium that is not particularly suited to this task. How do you go about figuring out the best combination of LEGO pieces needed to achieve each of the details ? Is it a fairly intuitive process for you or do you have to go through a lot of trial and error before you settle on something you are happy with ?

Thanks so much for the compliment. I truly believe that anyone can achieve this by trying and not giving up. I started building with LEGO only three years ago (and never played with LEGO before). If I could do it, I am sure that everybody else can do that as well. I always study the details from photographs of the building I want to build, and then I try to join the bricks until I am happy with the form, proportion and the overall look. If it doesn’t look right to my eye, then I redo it until it is perfect for me. This can be very time-consuming sometimes but for me it is like meditation. That is the whole reason why I started building with LEGO.

4) Do you ever find yourself frustrated by the limitations of the LEGO medium ? Maybe you have a building in mind that you would really like to create a LEGO version of (but haven’t been able to, because there is no easy way to replicate a certain aspect of the building using LEGO) ?

Yes, indeed my biggest challenge is to create corner buildings with round corners and beautiful, realistic towers. I am too obsessed with getting the details and proportions right and with the limitations of LEGO, it is too difficult to create the kind of build I would like to have. It really frustrates me. So I don’t even start building any models of corner buildings, because I already know that they wouldn’t meet my expectations. Do you know what I mean? And what’s even more frustrating for me is that the most beautiful old buildings were the corner buildings.

5) Have you ever taken your models outside your home ? Do you have any interest in displaying them in LEGO conventions ? Is this a consideration for you when you design your models (making it easy to separate them into sections and to transport them)

No, I never showed any builds of mine outside of my home, because I am new to the community. I usually am not aware of where and when the conventions take place and by the time I find out, it is too late. I have also not considered attending conventions because of the limited amount of free time I have (with my job) but I would definitely love to, in the future.

6) I know that you have recently started doing digital builds in How has that experience been ? Do you find building digitally to be just as fulfilling as it is to build using real pieces ? Do you have plans to convert any of your digital builds into real ones at some point ?

Oh yes, as I mentioned before, I love to build with LEGO digitally. It opens up so many possibilities, because you have an unlimited number of bricks you can use. You can easily change the colors for the bricks that you want to use even if they don’t exist for real in those colors. It’s really great to plan and build with As you can see in my Instagram posts for the last few weeks, I have been using constantly. Maybe in the future, when I am retired and LEGO releases a 3D printer that you can use to print your own bricks, I will build all these models using real bricks.

7) Your models occupy a small niche within the LEGO hobby (just like my skyscraper models). Do you have any interest in exploring other kinds of LEGO builds ? If so, what other kinds of models would you like to try building ?

That is a very good question. Hmm …. I would love to build a skyscraper model like you but at a much bigger scale. That way I could dive into the details like I do with my “normal” buildings. For example I would love to build the Woolworth Building in New York with such details (both on the inside and the outside).

Thanks again Michael for taking the time to answer these questions ! I am looking forward to seeing a skyscraper model from you some day, with the stunning level of facade details that we have come to expect from you.

You can follow Michael Haas here

Interview with Greg DiNapoli

When I got started in this hobby, I was inspired by a number of LEGO creations that I had found online, but I didn’t get a chance to see a skyscraper model for real until I attended my first LEGO event – Brickfair, NJ in 2017. The standout at this event (at least for me) was a very impressive 8-foot tall model of 1WTC (One World Trade Center in New York) built by Greg DiNapoli. Seeing this model gave me the impetus to work on models of my own that I could also display in LEGO conventions.

After we met at Brickfair, I reached out to Greg and he was kind enough to show me the ropes and give me tips for navigating the LEGO community. We have stayed in touch ever since (often using each other as sounding boards for ideas). I had the opportunity to display my skyscraper models alongside Greg’s model of the 1WTC at Brickfest, Philadelphia 2019 and we were also featured together in an article in Blocks Magazine.

As a LEGO builder, I hesitate to use the term ‘artist’ to describe myself but Greg is an artist in the real sense of the word. His painstakingly-created pencil drawings are stunningly realistic (often hard to distinguish from actual black and white photographs) and have won him multiple awards. And yes, he also happens to be an award-winning (Best Lighted MOC in Brickfair, NJ 2017 and Staff Choice Award in Brickfest, Philadelphia 2019) LEGO builder with a keen interest in skyscrapers.

I started this blog not just to showcase my own models but also to try to offer perspectives from outside my own narrow realm of experience. Towards that end, I couldn’t think of a better person to invite to add some fresh perspective to this blog, than my friend Greg. Thank you Greg for agreeing to answer these questions regarding your amazing model of 1WTC !

1) Let me get some obligatory questions out of the way – you know, the kind you get asked over and over again when you display your model in a LEGO convention. How many pieces ? How long did it take to build ? Did you really build the whole thing by yourself ? Just kidding about the last one, of course !

Ha ha. Well the build has 25,000 pieces. I built one section at a time (the street and plaza, the building’s pedestal, the main tower, and then the spire). I ordered pieces for each section as I needed them, and I was constantly changing things as I went, so the whole build took about 8 months. And yes, I did it all by myself.

2) As I understand it, you have wanted to build this model for a long time. What finally made you pull the trigger ? Did you have any problems sourcing the pieces you needed for the model ?

LEGO was my life as a kid, so as an adult who loved skyscrapers, I built 2 after I discovered Bricklink and saw I could get the parts I needed. In 2005 I built the Citigroup Center in New York City, and in 2006 I built the Sears Tower (Willis). I always said I would build another, but I got married and started a family. Growing up admiring the Twin Towers from nearby New Jersey, the World Trade Center rebuild fascinated me, and when they finally released the final plan for the new tower, I immediately wanted to build it in LEGO. I actually have a plan sketch of it I did in 2011, but I never pulled the trigger. I went to Brickfair NJ in 2016 as a spectator and was inspired to finally do a large build again, and to have it ready to display at Brickfair NJ, so that’s what I did. I placed my first parts order in November of 2016, and I finished it about 3 months ahead of time. I only had trouble sourcing the 1 x 2 trans dark blue pieces. I needed over 9,000 of them, and after about 5,000 they were getting tricky to find and more expensive. It slowed my progress down some, but eventually I got there.

3) Can you outline the process you used to ensure that your model would accurately represent the actual building ? How did you end up deciding how big the footprint of the tower was going to be ?

As an artist, math isn’t my strongest subject, so our ways of figuring out scale are very different, ha ha. I more or less “eyeballed” the whole structure. I knew I wanted the base to be around 30 studs wide based on my Sears Tower build from 10 years earlier. So I created some LEGO scale graph paper in the computer and I put an elevation drawing of the actual building on top of it with the base 30 studs wide, and more or less traced it. I knew I was limited to 8 feet (the height of my ceiling) so I worked around that. Luckily I was able to get the proportions pretty close without doing any math.

4) This is a very impressive model to begin with but what takes it to the next level is the lighting. Can you describe how you were able to recreate a realistic night-time look of the building with your lighting scheme ?

When I set out to finally build my 1WTC, my goal was to vastly improve on my previous skyscrapers and literally make it the culmination of my LEGO career. I wanted everything to be perfect. And for me, the only way to do that was to not only show what the building looked like in daylight, but at night-time as well. This was another aspect that I “winged” as I went along. I’m not an electrician, so I reached out to Rob at Brickstuff and he walked me through the Brickstuff system and helped me create what I envisioned. The “night-time” look was achieved by building the entire tower with a double wall, the outer layer being trans dark blue, and an inner layer with rows of white to mimic the internal steel structure, trans clear for “lit” windows and black for “unlit” windows. This took several tries to get right; I tried different color combinations and arrangements of the lit and unlit windows until I was satisfied with how it looked. I literally had half the tower built one way and I took it completely apart and started over because I didn’t think it resembled 1WTC at night well enough. And thanks to Brickstuff‘s tiny LEDs, I was able to cram 16 lights in the very skinny spire, so I am able to mimic different lighting color schemes like the real tower using trans clear colored plates over the LEDs.  Rob also programmed a white light to mimic the beacon at the top of the spire, as well as the red aircraft warning light to blink in the same sequence as the real building.

5) I know you are a perfectionist (I can totally relate to that) and can’t stop tinkering with your model. I remember you redid the plaza section of your 1WTC just last year (in time for Brickfest). Are there any other parts of your model that you are not entirely satisfied with and would like to redo at some point ?

The first thing that bothered me about my build when I was done was the trees. They were far too large, and I couldn’t have the actual number of trees in the plaza represented. I did some research on microscale trees, and I was able to adjust them. The plaza however still bothered me. I had originally created the angle of the street and plaza by staggering bricks, and it just looked sloppy and blocky to me. Like my pencil drawings, I wanted this build to look as real as possible. So I ordered some winged plates and ripped up the whole thing and redid it just in time for Brickfest 2019. I’m much happier with it now, and honestly there isn’t really anything more I’d change.

6) What kind of challenges did you have transporting this model and setting it up at shows ? I know you built the entire tower portion as a single unit before you decided to break it up into 3 separate chunks (which sounds quite nerve-wracking to me !).

One of my goals with this build was to display it at Brickfair NJ in 2017. Beyond that, I really never expected to display it again so I really didn’t think it through very well while I was building it how I would transport it. I originally had it as 3 sections: the base/podium, the 5 foot trans dark blue tower, and the spire. When I got to Brickfair NJ, I really didn’t want to set it up and display it on the floor, so I decided to put it on a table. Getting that 5 foot section of thousands of LEGO (with no glue) to line up to 8 studs on the base AND connect the wiring for the lights on a ladder was absolutely terrifying. I still don’t know how I did it. But, I figured it was destined to spend the rest of its life in my house so I didn’t change anything. I was then invited to display it for the day and an interview at One World Observatory at the top of the real building in New York City, truly a great honor. So I rolled the dice again. While it was easier to set it up on the floor, handling that 5 foot section was just too stressful, heavy and impractical. When I decided to display at Brickfest Philadelphia, I knew I had to change something. So I broke the main tower into 3 sections and altered the wiring inside to be able to disconnect at several points. It got a little messy, but LEGO is meant to be taken apart and put back together right? This proved to be much more practical, and makes me more confident about displaying more in the future.

7) When you started working on this model, did you have any inkling about how popular it would turn out to be ? It is not every day that a LEGO model makes the evening news. You were also able to take your model to the top of the real 1WTC (how cool is that ?).

Yes I built my 1WTC with the intent of displaying it (once), but I truly built it for myself. It was challenging on many levels, and with my love of architecture and skyscrapers, I wanted it for myself. If it wasn’t for the urging of my friend Jonathan Lopes, I wouldn’t have done anything more with it. But Jonathan encouraged me to send it to some popular New York websites, and somehow it went viral. It was well beyond my wildest dreams. It was a lot of fun, and I was thrilled so many people enjoyed my work.

You can follow Greg DiNapoli using these links