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8 Miniature Models of New York City, from LEGO to Cake

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Although the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum is the undisputed king of New York City models, many other artists, model makers, cake bosses, etc. have attempted similar projects, albeit on a less grand scale. Here now, as Micro Week winds to a close, we bring you eight scale models of New York City—some of individual buildings, some of the entire island of Manhattan, some made of LEGO bricks, and some filled with candy.


Professional LEGO artist Sean Kenney has created models of New York City landmarks from the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building to Yankee Stadiums, as well as a Greenwich Village street scene, Columbus Circle, and more. He has also constructed an entire staircase and wall made of 20,000 LEGO bricks in a Manhattan loft.

This LEGO model of New York City in Legoland California is actually not all that small (compared to the other models on this list, not to the actual city), but it's still incredibly detailed.


New York/Netherlands-based company Shapeways takes all the fun out of having to painstakingly assemble hundreds of thousands of Lego pieces by just 3D printing 1:1000-scale models of buildings mostly in New York City and Chicago. The NYC buildings include the Guggenheim Museum, a Tudor City tower, and a row of anonymous townhouses. The "Ittyblox," as they are know, sell for between $6 and $93.


Artist Alan Wolfson's New York City miniatures and painstakingly handcrafted down to the tiniest detail (his Canal Street reconstruction took 18 months). "I will frequently think about a project for years before I start doing it; I thought about [one piece] for maybe 10 years before the time was right to build it," Wolfson says. "A major piece typically takes me anywhere from three to nine months."


Randy Hage, a model maker for film and TV, creates miniatures of New York City storefronts that are so accurate they're difficult to tell apart from photos. He describes his mission as not just to "preserve a vision of the past, but also to call attention to the loss of established and diverse neighborhoods as urban renewal and gentrification displace the store owners and the area residents who make up the tapestry of these communities."


If you were wondering how much marble it would take to build a scale model of Manhattan, the answer is 2.5 tons of marble. Japanese-born, L.A.-based Yutaka Sone used photos, Google Earth images, and helicopter rides to build Little Manhattan, which he describes as bearing a "subtle visual resemblance to the physical form of a snow leopard."

Less impressive, but still fun, some 2 Northside Piers residents had a pinata built to resemble the under-construction 3 Northside Piers tower a couple years ago and then beat the crap out of it with a pool cue in order to send it a message to not block their views.

Probably the most delicious item on this list (by default) is the cake in the shape of 10 Hudson Yards that the developers commissioned from Fairway to celebrate the first year of construction.
· Micro Week 2015 coverage [Curbed]