This Space for Rent

My personal 50-years-of-lego celebration

For their christmas present to themselves, the bears took some of their college money and spent it buying the Lego Town Plan set, which shook me out of my “must-build-SHIPs” mood (I’ve been thinking of ripping Pipeline apart and building a Mundane-SF-style expedition-to-Mars spacecraft, but that project is stalled because I’m not sure how to build a convincing habitation ring on the thing. A ring can be spun up for artificial gravity, but legos aren’t that good at curvy shapes PARTICULARLY when I’m trying to do minifig-scale crew quarters) and into the easier-to-imagine field of architecture.

One of my character flaws is that I’ve never been one to follow the instructions for pretty much anything I do. This holds for Legos as well as anything else; The Town Plan is very nice, but it’s someone else’s design, and after building the Lego-style Minifig Museum of Modern Art, I wanted to do a somewhat grander building.


The Owl Building is a two-story Romanesque pile that’s somewhat reminiscent of some of the downtown buildings that used to be fairly common in towns in southwest & south central Wisconsin (not this one, though Richland Center does have buildings that feel like the Owl Building.) It’s arranged to sit on a street corner, hopefully facing into the town square like the commercial buildings that sit around the Lancaster town square, and it’s got 6 offices, a fancy entryway, as well as space for an essential-for-business coffee shop.


The side street facade is not quite as fancy as the front facade; it has the same massive pillars and inset windows, but while the front has super-huge 3-pane windows on the ground floor, the side has slightly smaller 1-pane windows instead. An alley goes down the other side of the building to a courtyard, so the facade only carries in part of the way and then is dropped in favor of plain red brick walls.


I’m somewhat obsessive about interiors, so both floors are built up (they aren’t actually furnished, because the bears have been too busy doing lego Star Wars battles to cater to my obsessions; the only things furnished are the lobby, the coffee shop, the boiler in the boiler room, the bathrooms, and the food storage on the first floor.)

This building is smaller than my SHIP, but it still fills a 40x40 baseplate. It’s probably not the best thing for play purposes, because you have to pull out a lot of pieces to excavate down to the ground floor, but it’s pretty, it looks like a downtown building should look, and it’s solid enough to survive the depradations of the bears, at least for a while.