Detroit Institute of Art Becomes Part of Lego Land

Jim Garrett

This building is a selectively scaled down version of the Detroit Institute of Arts on Woodward Avenue.

The original structure, completed in 1927, was designed in the Italian style by Paul Philippe Cret. The real thing is really a great musuem with a large collection. Many of the galleries have period styles to them including a medieval courtyard. The murals by Diego Rivera depicting the auto industry are unique.

If my version of the museum were built to scale, the building would be about 3 times wider and longer. Black granite additions were built from 1966-1970 but due to space restrictions, my model only shows the orginal marble section. The model has a rudimentary interior in which I planned to place reproductions of some art but I have not done so yet. It took about 28 hours over 7 days to build and was completed in November 2004.

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A Ford Anglia drives north on Woodward Avenue past the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA). The rather primitive and cubistic rendition of the replica of Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" sits to the right of the entrance.

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The entrance is covered by three arches resting on four ionic columns. Walls with large marble blocks flank the entrance.

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The real DIA has a hall of suits of armor. The pedestal should have had "The Thinker" on it but I removed it since the Lego version did not turn out so good.

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The rear of the museum which is not very accurate since there is actually a movie theater attached here. I did not include this due to space limitations but instead used architectural ideas from the Detroit Library's main building.

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Skylights cover the Diego Rivera and medieval courtyards. Wait... something funny seems to be going on up on the roof!

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Two people seem to be making off with a large painting!

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"You idiot! You dropped your end and damaged the picture. You upset the old bat!"

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Unfortunately for the would be art thieves, a Detroit PD officer is waiting to take the situation in hand. In reality "Whistler's Mother" by James Abbot McNeill Whistler was exhibited at the DIA in spring 2004 without incident.

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After my first MichLUG train show in November 2004, I replaced the blue roof with a dark grey one for a more realistic appearance. 


Diana Alva said...

This is such a refreshing site/blog/breath of fresh air. I live in this city and I can see what's wrong. So, spare me all the negative stuff. Let's all promote the good and talented. Because this city is filled with beautiful people doing beautiful things. Let's keep pushing the cream to the top..............Thank you for starting this blog !!! I really enjoy it.

Erin Rose said...

Thank you Diana, I agree with you 100%! Thank you for the kind words!

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