Inside the impressively large Crystal Palace of New York City’s Javits Center, you will find an equally impressive, but notably smaller version of the space. Next to the statue of Senator Jacob K. Javits near the main entrance there is a more than 7-foot long and 5-foot wide model of the convention center made up of 114,470 LEGO pieces! The model was created by Brooklyn-based artist Sean Kenney.
The massive model, which was built by Kenney and four assistants, took 440 hours over the course of two months to design and build. It is made entirely out of standard LEGO pieces that anyone could buy from the store. Kenney based the model off of satellite images, photos taken by tourists, floor plans from convention web sites, and Google Street View.
The model doesn’t only represent the building itself, but also the activity inside and around it. Since the artist wanted it to be an accurate representation of the convention center, clear glass and all, he had to also build the interior of the building which you can see through the transparent pieces. On his website, Kenney notes that designing the 1-inch-tall escalator alone took 20 prototypes and 7 hours. There are over 300 vehicles and 7,000 micro figures in the model including LEGO versions of Citi-Bikes, people waiting in line at a food stand, taxis, buses, trees, and anything else you would see when visiting the real-life convention center, plus some things you probably wouldn’t see in real life, like a Batmobile driving down the West Side Highway.
The model also includes a representation of the Javits Center’s 6.75 acre green roof, which Untapped Cities Insiders toured on a recent visit. Chief Engineer Rick Brown used the model to show the group the various spots of the roof we visited. The LEGO green roof is made up of 14,560 tiny plant pieces to mimic the sedum planted atop the convention center.
The next time you find yourself attending one of the many events held at the convention center, check out the LEGO model and see what fun details you can find! You can watch a time-lapse video of the construction of the model on Youtube.
Next, check out The Top 10 Secrets of the Jacob K. Javits Center in NYC
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