If you’re thinking that this building, made of LEGOs, looks an awful lot like the Buffalo Central Terminal (BTC), that’s because it is a replica of the complex. Native Buffalonian Chris Campbell has been working on the striking model over the past year, ultimately incorporating the terminal into an entire LEGO town (as featured in io9.com).
Chris has been following all of the good news taking place in his hometown, and although he’s currently living in Chicago, he’s still doing his part to contribute to the enthusiasm for Buffalo’s recovering built environment. I hope that the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation is able to bring this LEGO labor of love to Buffalo some day…
Too bad it wasn’t finished in time to be featured as a set in The LEGO Movie!
Here are a few questions that Chris was king enough to answer for us:
Why the Central Terminal?
My Dad is a retired Amtrak employee who worked in the old Terminal for a few years before it closed in 1979, and my brothers and I were too young to have seen it while it was operating so it became a revered icon. We’d always point it out whenever driving or riding the train past the Terminal. So it was an easy decision to make a model of it as the centerpiece of my Lego train layout. Two of my brothers are current Amtrak employees, so it’s like the family business.
Do they really make all of those LEGO pieces… what happens when there is not a piece for a detail that you are looking for?
Oh yes, there are so many pieces out there. BrickLink.com is the main source for all the pieces used in construction. I don’t have a running total but it’s easily in the tens of thousands of pieces so far, with hundreds of different types of pieces.
Anything else that we’re not seeing that we should know about?
There’s quite a bit of detail built into the interior that I haven’t photographed yet. And there’s so much more to build. The end goal is to not only build a faithful replica of the Terminal complex, but to envision it as if it were operating today. That will include (at least) two Starbucks kiosks, flatscreen train arrival & departure info and some other high-tech upgrades that didn’t exist during its functional lifetime as a 20th-century train terminal. I’m also building a small fleet of classic Amtrak train engines & cars to fill out the scene. All are under construction now… more updates to come!
Chris is still in the process of building the Central Terminal, as you can see from the following blog entries and images below:
“The earliest test pics (see below) to gauge the size of the BCT’s main arched windows relative to the tracks. The actual windows ended up building much larger then these!”
“Sooo…this section (see below) was originally 5 bricks high. Then after my first visit to the real Terminal I realized Curtiss St actually ran underneath the main hall! All six foundations had to be raised 4 bricks to allow for the street to pass underneath.”
“A bunch of otherwise useless bricks magically become valuable when buried in the foundation. Note the extra support in the upper left where the tower would be built (see below).”
And finally the plan comes together…
To be continued…