Manchester Victorian

Manchester Victorian - 2321 Elm (30”x22.5” x 15” tall, 4000 pieces)

The Manchester Millyard.

Between 2004 and 2006, I was able to participate in one of the biggest LEGO displays ever made. Inventor, entrepreneur and founder of FIRST robotics and FIRST LEGO League, Dean Kamen decided he wanted a giant LEGO display of the city that he called home, Manchester, New Hampshire. LEGO agreed to design much of it and even supply the materials. However, they needed hands to build. That’s where my club, NELUG, came in. We volunteered. Oh we got a few perks out of it--not actual money, but some free LEGO. Honestly, many of us would have done it for nothing. Building LEGO is our passion. We met monthly at the SEE Science Center to build a 22’x95’ (yes feet!) replica layout of the Manchester Millyard at the turn of the twentieth century in minifigure scale.

Building side by side with my friends was exciting. We had no instructions, just a basic design of the doors and windows along with the outline of each mill. We made it up as we went along, but we had LEGO master builders with us to make sure everything was structurally sound. In two and a half years, we took three million LEGO bricks and turned them into 20 mill buildings along with the surrounding town!

One of the side projects of the MIllyard was the Manchester Historical Society Victorian build. MHS is located in the same building as FIRST and the SEE Science Center. They wanted to have some of the residential buildings represented in the display.

2321 Elm Street was honestly one of the last ones left to pick when I got a chance to volunteer. It was easy to see why. It had two cylindrical towers with conic roofs. Not easy stuff to create out of LEGO. It took about a month of digital design and then one awesome day picking out parts from the LEGO Shows and Events division stock in Connecticut. Then I took it all up to New Hampshire where I rendezvoused with the other members of NELUG and built it live. (30”x22.5” x 15” tall, 4000 pieces)