Lopes, a native Brooklynite, began creating the urban scene four years ago by building an extensive train system. Now the landscape, spotted with various places throughout the borough, takes up his entire 400 square foot living room. Lopes told the Daily News that he wants it to look like the scene he sees every day when he walks to the subway in his neighborhood, Boerum Hill. He’s recreated a flower shop on Hoyt Street, Firehouse Engine 226, city buses, street sweepers, and much, much more.
Impressively, Lopes uses nothing but LEGOs for every detail — no matter how small. He makes no alterations to the blocks and adds no stickers or paint, even for tiny little shop signs. “It’s challenging to achieve certain aesthetics with the limitations of the brick,” Lopes told the News. “I try to get it as real looking as possible.”
The LEGO obsession first started when Lopes bought a Star Wars LEGO kit ten years ago. After becoming bored with the models, he began creating his own, starting with a city street sweeper. Now he has amassed nearly half a million LEGO pieces and created a detailed version of New York’s biggest borough. To see Lopes’s work for yourself, stop by the Boerum Hill Dry Cleaners at 391 Pacific Street, where his model of the Williamsburg Savings Bank is currently on display. The 4-foot-tall, 12,000 brick structure will take your breath away.
Images © Johnathan Lopes