A fun family activity that is hands-on! Come Build Westport using 70,000 LEGO building blocks!
“Come Build Westport – One LEGO at a time” will take place Sunday, March 12, at Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 75 Church Lane. The program is designed by award-winning architect Stephen W. Schwartz and sponsored by Karen Bergemeyer Home, a kitchen and bath design firm located at 175 Post Road West in Westport.
The event gives families the opportunity to make LEGO replicas of vintage homes and commercial buildings selected by the Historical Society. “The goal,” Schwartz says, “is to make the public aware of the town’s rich architectural heritage, so that when they are out and about they might notice the design features that make some of Westport’s buildings notable.”
The list of buildings includes such iconic Westport landmarks as National Hall, Saugatuck Congregational Church, the former Westport Bank & Trust Building, Tavern on Main, Christ and Holy Trinity Church and the Society’s Wheeler House.
The buildings are located near downtown on both sides of the Saugatuck River, and many are on the National Register of Historic Place. The list will number 55 buildings, and Schwartz will pick 50 that lend themselves to LEGO construction. “Churches are always good,” he says, “because they have a spire.” The event will accommodate 50 families.
Schwartz says the program was born 18 years ago when his daughter, a second grade teacher, asked him to show her class how towns and cities are planned. Today the architect and his wife travel the country staging the LEGO program. All are for the benefit of local historical societies.
The finished buildings are to be placed on a floor map of downtown Westport measuring 17 ½ by 25 feet, Schwartz says. “Then we talk about the architectural history of Westport a little bit to make people aware of it,” he adds. “That’s the point of the workshop.” The final step is to reduce the floor map to an 11-by-17-inch Westport Architectural Treasure Hunt Map that the families take with them on a walking tour of downtown.
Learn more about Schwartz’s program at buildingblocksworkshops.com. Mr. Schwartz, an architect, specializes in the design of retail spaces and has won numerous prizes for work at the Mall at Short Hills and other venues in northern New Jersey. His firm is located in Livingston, N.J. Schwartz says the workshops have no connection with the LEGO company itself and that all are made possible by the sponsorship of local businesses and organizations.
There is a $35 donation and is limited to the first 50 families and then a waiting list will be started! There must be at least one adult present to help the kids think through their project. Viewers are welcome at 3:45 pm at no charge.