With boy choristers singing their version of “Everything Is Awesome,” the Washington National Cathedral unveiled the foundation of a Lego replica of the cathedral that will be built as a fundraiser over the next several years.
The “Let There Be Lego!” initiative was inspired by a similar project at Durham Cathedral in England. It aims to help the District of Columbia cathedral raise the $19 million still needed to pay for the $34 million in damages from a 2011 earthquake.
The compact church will be constructed with an estimated 400,000 bricks and will weigh about 1,350 pounds, planners said Friday (Mar. 1). There will be 112 Lego gargoyles, and it will take 9,000 bricks to make the cathedral’s signature “Creation” rose window. While the stone building took 83 years to build, officials predict the model will take between two and three years.
Charles Fulcher, director of the cathedral’s visitor programs, said the project is a new way to welcome the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the Gothic edifice every year.
“This is a way for visitors to be hands-on in the life of the cathedral,” he said.
At the unveiling, Fulcher recalled stories of people who saw the blocks of Indiana limestone outside the real edifice as it took shape.
“They never actually picked up those blocks of limestone and put them on the building,” he said.
He envisions visitors purchasing bricks — at $2 apiece, small or large — and placing them in the model before heading into the sanctuary for a guided tour and seeing the real location of the spot they built in miniature. Volunteers will place bricks purchased by people online in the model, located in a room once used for a rare-book library.
The completed Lego cathedral will be 7 feet tall, 13 feet long and 8 feet wide — about the size of a minivan.
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Source: Religion News Service