In the state of Illinois, in the town of Mettawa, there is a house called Mettawa Manor. Originally built in 1927, when it was purchased in 1990 by newsman Bill Kurtis and his wife Donna LaPietra, they became just the second owners of the estate, and, in the nearly thirty years since, they have refurbished the place and made the gardens a popular horticultural destination. Another newsman, Peter Sagal, the host of National Public Radio’s popular Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me alongside Mr. Kurtis, commissioned a LEGO build of the manor for his colleague from the talented Dave Kaleta to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his marriage at the house. The resulting model is magnificent!
Building in microscale has its peculiar challenges, where each stud width and plate height equals many feet (or meters outside the USA), but Dave has done a great job of replicating the different angles of the roof lines and various bay windows, together with beautiful landscaping. The use of neck brackets for electrical details on the roof as well as the chairs on the back patio is lovely, and repeated 1×1 tiles on the roof create a perfect illusion of shingle texture. My favorite detail is definitely the entry way, though, with the perfect little door framed by an arch of cheese slopes. Photos of the actual house appear on the builder’s Flickr photostream, and it is as spot-on as one could do in LEGO bricks. What a gift!