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Fisher Building (version 2)
The Fisher Building, an Art Deco/Art Moderne 28 story tall skyscraper, built in 1928. This Lego replica uses about 105,000 bricks and weighs about 230 pounds.
About this creation
After seven months of off and on construction, the Fisher Building is complete.


The original Fisher Building was built in 1928 in the New Center area of Detroit. It was commisioned by the seven Fisher brothers who made a fortune supplying auto bodies to General Motors. The original cost was $10 million (a lot more in today's dollars). It was designed by prolific architect Albert Kahn who was also responsible for building auto baron Henry Ford's home, several University of Michigan buildings, and numerous car factories.




Building Statistics:

     
  • Construction Start: August 2004.

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  • Construction End: February 2005.

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  • Current Status: In use.

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  • Height to base of roof: 189 Bricks (6.1 feet).

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  • Height to roof: 208 Bricks (6.7 feet).

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  • Height to antenna: 241 Bricks (7.5 feet).

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  • Width: 4.2 feet.

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  • Length: 5.3 feet.

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  • Weight: 230 LBs (103 KG).

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  • Modules: 24 sub-assemblies ranging from 1 to 18 pounds.

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  • Number of Lego bricks: 105,000.

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  • Cost of Lego bricks: far too much*

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  • Number of 32x32 baseplates: 20.


* While most bricks were purchased in bulk for an average of 1.5 cents apiece, the Bricklink orders for the special items added significantly to the cost.


I recently joined MichLUG. This will be my second building to be displayed as part of a MichLUG town and train display. The building is portable. It can be disassembled into 24 modules (see pictures of module assembly). I have already moved most of it to a MichLUG meeting as a test.



The first public appearence of this building was March 4th-6th, 2005 at the Great American Train Show (GATS) in Novi, Michigan. It was part of a 20 x 30 ft MichLUG/MichLTC display.



The Fisher building's 2nd showing was at the NMRA National Train Show (July 8-10, 2005), in Cincinnati where it was part of a monstrous multi-Lego Train Club layout that measured almost 50 x 70 feet!



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   The south facade of the Fisher Building. The Fisher brothers originally planned that this 28 story tower would be just one of three towers but the Great Depression of 1929 put a stop to that grand vision.



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   The overal footprint of the bulding is L shaped. The real Fisher Building fills more of the entire block but the Lego version had to be designed to fit into the MichLUG layouts.



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   Looking north up 2nd Avenue.



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   The north side of the building which features a small park since the design did not use up an intergal number of green baseplates.



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   Air conditioning equipment.



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   The tower as seen from the north.



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   My art museum (Detroit Institute of Arts) is across the street.



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   The view from 12 stories above the street.



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   Looking up!



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   The view from 400 feet above West Grand Boulevard.



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   Some of the many setbacks that make the 1920-1930s style skyscrapers so distinctive.



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   The twelve story secondary tower.



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   The Fisher Theater entrance.



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   The Fisher Theater was originally a movie house with an Aztec theme. In 1961 the Nederlander Company remodeled it for stage shows. In early 2007, I attended the production of Spamalot! at the real theater.



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   The back of the building which is not as detailed (It will face away from the edge of MichLUG layouts). This mirrors the real building, which uses ordinary brick in the seldom seen areas instead of the limestone and granite used on the front facade. The yellow was eventually replaced with white brick.



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   The Lego replica includes the 3 story arcade that runs the length of the building. This picture shows about 5 feet of the arcade (which made it difficult to keep the entire thing in focus).



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   The "golden tower" of the Fisher Building.



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   Called Detroit's largest art object, the Fisher Building is, in the opinion of some, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.




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   On Friday, March 4th, 2005, WDIV-TV Channel 4's weatherman/reporter Chuck Gaidica, featured my Lego Fisher Building on his preview report on the GATS in Novi, Michigan. (Picture credit: Ken Koleda)



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   The downtown section of the MichLUG/MichLTC layout at the GATS, March 5th, 2005.



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   The Fisher Building at the Great Train Expo in March 2006 in Novi.



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   The Fisher Building at the Great Train Expo in March 2007 in Novi.



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   The Fisher Building as it appeared at the NMRA National Train Show in Cincinnati, July 8-10, 2005 as part of a 50 x 70 foot layout put together by 13 Lego Train Clubs.



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   After the first show, I eliminated the yellow and upgraded 600 windows in the back of the building. Only some of the windows have been updated in this picture. The renovation added about 2400 more Lego parts to the building. A standard Imperial AT-AT is shown for scale.



Comments

 I like it 
  November 12, 2013
hold sh** this is awesome! great detail and scale is unbelievable, 5/5
 I like it 
  September 4, 2012
everytime amazing when droping by, still one of my favorites
 I like it 
  February 8, 2010
dnag man impressive. how do you have time to do this?
 I like it 
  February 8, 2010
WOAHO. Huge, nice, awesome, realistic building.
 I like it 
  January 31, 2010
WOW is all I can say here Jim!!! Truly a masterpiece!!! When I first saw it, I thought it was a building in Downtown LA.
 I made it 
  November 22, 2009
Quoting Mike G. rated it 5 again xD how do you make your buildings to seperate in to modules? i have a hard time with that... also, build the Lafayette building before its too late and they tear it down.
The only advice for deciding where to divide a large building into modules is to look for any horizontal or vertical details that might hide a seam in the model. Have some tiles or technic pins handy. As for the Lafayette Building, demolition has already commenced. Unfortunately, it will be gone before I could accumulate enough parts to build a model of it. I do have a number of photos of the Lafayette Building in my flickr account for future reference.
 I like it 
  November 21, 2009
rated it 5 again xD how do you make your buildings to seperate in to modules? i have a hard time with that... also, build the Lafayette building before its too late and they tear it down.
 I made it 
  November 19, 2009
Quoting Mike G. what bricklink store has that many white pieces and sells them for 1.5 cents a piece? The best I can find is about 4000 pieces at 4 cents each, and 100000 bricks, that's insanity! that's almost double my entire collection! please respond thx -mike
I purchased those 1.5 cent bricks at Meijer stores (a midwestern superstore chain). Back in 2004, Meijer had a clearance sale on 500 piece LEGO buckets (creator set 4028) for $7.26. Each time I went somewhere, I stopped at any nearby Meijer and cleared out these sets. I eventually accumulated 133 of these sets (totaling 65,000 parts). I also purchased a few dozen of the 1000 piece sets at regular price ($19.95). Unfortunately the prices have gone up in recent years and are now as you say. It would be next to impossible for me to build this building today. These days I do end up placing a dozen or more bricklink orders to obtain enough parts for even a considerably smaller MOCs.
 I like it 
  November 18, 2009
what bricklink store has that many white pieces and sells them for 1.5 cents a piece? The best I can find is about 4000 pieces at 4 cents each, and 100000 bricks, that's insanity! that's almost double my entire collection! please respond thx -mike
 I like it 
  February 23, 2008
If that had an interior, it would be one of the greatest Lego creations of all time.
 I like it 
  November 5, 2007
How did you get all them Lego? & whats inside? Cool creation dude!!!!!!!
 I like it 
  January 16, 2007
Wow great buidling, looks very realistic. Looks just like the building. Once again, great work.
 I like it 
  October 16, 2005
Wowee!That is taller then me!
 I like it 
  October 10, 2005
I think my jaw broke when it hit the floor.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2005
You sir are a freak! This is quite the building! Amazing detail on a monster of a building! Cheers! ~ Paul.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2005
Building big is harder than you may think. It's easy to loose track of detailing and a building just ends up being, well, just big. But I like the grand look of this building. The 20-ies really had style, (in architecture it's one of my favourite periods)and the "feel" of this building just communicates that style. So well done, Jim. I know it's been a big job creating this, but you have done a very good job indeed.
 I like it 
  February 9, 2005
Absolutely stellar work! I can appreciate the work and $$ that went into that masterpiece. Well done! I hope you built it in a modular fashion to get it out of the room! ;-)
 I like it 
  February 9, 2005
The complete grandeur of the project... how amazing! Great job. -Josh
 I like it 
  February 8, 2005
Very impresive. How many pieces?? Just kidding. Exelent job on the detail and origionality. I really like this a lot. Keep up the great work.
 I like it 
  February 8, 2005
Excellent Work! Totally overwhelming in person. It's obvious that you spent a lot of time working the little details in. Also I dig the white and dark grey color scheme.
 I like it 
  February 8, 2005
Have seen this in person (both the real building and this one)and it ROCKS.It will be one of the highlights at march GATS!
 
By Jim Garrett
Add to my favorite builders

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Added February 8, 2005
 


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