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Savoyard Center
Minifig scale model of the Savoyard Center, Detroit, Michigan
About this creation
The Savoyard Center
This 2 story downtown Detroit building was designed by Stanford White of the famous east coast architecture firm McKim, Mead, and White. It was completed in 1900 as the State Savings Bank (later called People's State Bank). It is considered to be one the finest examples of Beaux-Arts classicism in the city. This building is the oldest of the five buildings that currently make up the Penobscot Block.

The LEGO Model
This model took several months to complete due to parts shortages and being put on hold for other projects. The delays did allow me to discover and correct some mistakes (I thought the roof was flat at first) and make some design improvements. The fluted columns are, I believe, a notable feature since most LEGO columns are plain. The Savoyard center is the 4th of 5 buildings in the Penobscot block that I have modeled in LEGO. This building goes next to my old Penobscot Building of 1905.



Building Statistics:


  • Construction Start: September 15, 2008.

  • Construction End: July 20, 2009.

  • Current Status: Empty - for sale.

  • Height: 2 stories.

    • Roof: 1 feet (.3 meters, 33 bricks high

    • Architectural Top: 1 feet (.3 meters, 37 bricks high).

    • Spire/Antenna: n/a.


  • Foorplate: 56 x 156 studs.

  • Floors: 2.

  • Weight: 25 Lbs.

  • Portability: Building separates into 6 modules for transport to MichLTC shows.

  • Colors:

    • Light blue gray - walls, columns, moldings, and cornices.

    • Dark gray and Dark blue gray - basement level, various details.

    • Green and dark green - window frames.

    • Black - roof and inside of entrace.









The real building was used as a bank for about 80 years and then for various purposes since. It is now empty and is for sale for 4.3 million dollars. Its got about 80,000 square feet.



The prototype has two groups of five windows on the side of the building, my version has two groups of four windows.



The two fluted columns flanking the main entrance are the only significant innovation in this model. They are composed of technic axles with technic timing gears stacked up around them. It was tricky getting a combination of axles to add up to the total height of the column. The original version of these columns used the typical solid 2x2 round bricks stacked up.



Below is a view of the Savoyard Center as part of the Penobscot Block which in turn is but one part of the 20' x 30' Michigan Lego Train Club display at the Owosso Train Festival (July 23-26, 2009).



Comments

 I like it 
  October 31, 2011
Beautiful building. I like the cornices, balustrades, fluted columns and windows. Really well done. Please check out my beaux arts mansion and let me know what you think.
 I made it 
  January 24, 2011
Quoting Nick Pascale Well Jim I enjoyed all your thumbnails from the first few pages...but...this one stopped me in my tracks. Then as an extra bonus --- you wrote the HISTORY of the building! Bravo!!! As a retired teacher and New Yorker I enjoyed seeing it! I put you on my list of favorites!!! You earned it!
I really appreciate your comments. Detroit (and many other cities as well) has a fascinating history. It has been obscured by recent bad news but is nevertheless worth looking into. Detroit is only 81 years younger than Plymouth, Massachusetts and has been under the flags of France, Britain, and the USA.
 I like it 
  January 23, 2011
Well Jim I enjoyed all your thumbnails from the first few pages...but...this one stopped me in my tracks. Then as an extra bonus --- you wrote the HISTORY of the building! Bravo!!! As a retired teacher and New Yorker I enjoyed seeing it! I put you on my list of favorites!!! You earned it!
 I like it 
  September 24, 2010
Wow but that is gorgeous. What a treat to look at.
 I like it 
  March 10, 2010
Great job Jim!!! I really like that fire scene at the end!!!
 I made it 
  December 29, 2009
Quoting Ian Paige excellent work (as always)! doesn't matter to me either way, but i have to ask whether i provided any inspiration for the fluted columns technique. the timing gears have a much smoother look than the bionicle gears i've used. well done!
I think I was sorting some parts and when I came across several timing gears a light bulb went on - these would make a good fluted column. I have looked at your stuff - I quite like your Arch of Septimus Severus with its coffered arch detailing.
 I like it 
  December 27, 2009
excellent work (as always)! doesn't matter to me either way, but i have to ask whether i provided any inspiration for the fluted columns technique. the timing gears have a much smoother look than the bionicle gears i've used. well done!
 I made it 
  November 29, 2009
Quoting Mike G. love all your work actually weird question maybe?, but do you have a bricklink store? what is it called? also, what bricklink stores would you recommend and/or use for cheap bricks in white, light bluish gray, and tan
Yes, I have a bricklink store called Motown Bricks. Since I build buildings there is not a lot remaining there if you want to build a building in those colors. I can't recommend any specific stores. Try using Bricklink's part notify feature to let you know when someone posts a part that you want for sale.
 I like it 
  November 29, 2009
love all your work actually weird question maybe?, but do you have a bricklink store? what is it called? also, what bricklink stores would you recommend and/or use for cheap bricks in white, light bluish gray, and tan
 I like it 
  August 29, 2009
wow dude thats so cool! keep up the good work!!!
 I like it 
  August 22, 2009
That's amazing.
 I made it 
  August 15, 2009
Quoting Thomas Benedikt Amazing Lego architecture, how many pieces is it?
Thanks! I do not know exactly how many pieces, but each large window behind the grey arches consists of over 120 green, dark green, and trans-black parts. Estimating from the weight of the entire building, there are probably 10,000-15,000 LEGO parts total.
 I made it 
  August 15, 2009
Quoting The one they call Erik Do you have any suggestions to go about joining MichLUG?
Please go to www.michlug.org and click on the Contact Us link to send an email with your questions. MichLUG is primarily an AFOL club with an emphasis on displaying train and town layouts at various events.
 I made it 
  August 15, 2009
Quoting Sebeus I Nicely done, great job on the windows and corners of the build. I really like those pillars in the entrance but I couldn't figure out what pieces you used, can you tell me ?
Thanks for the comments. As I mentioned in my description of the second to last photo, the column shafts use Technic Timing Gears which are stacked around technic axles. The axles in turn are held in place by the 2x2 round plates at the top.
 I like it 
  August 14, 2009
Amazing Lego architecture, how many pieces is it?
 I like it 
  August 12, 2009
WOW! another exellent build, the fluted columns draws the eye, brick architecture at it's best
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Incredible work! The inset green window frames look fantastic, really compliments the way the whole building is made. Great work!
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Do you have any suggestions to go about joining MichLUG?
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Excellent re-creation as usual.
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Wow the architecture is just amazing and it really doesn't even look like it is lego!
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Absolutely beautiful!
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Nicely done, great job on the windows and corners of the build. I really like those pillars in the entrance but I couldn't figure out what pieces you used, can you tell me ?
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Very impressive!
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Wow, that is awesome! Great job on this masterpiece. -Dylan
 I like it 
  August 10, 2009
Amazing design! Keep it up, you're a very talented builder!
 I like it 
  August 9, 2009
WOW! could you look at some of my stuff?
 
By Jim Garrett
Add to my favorite builders

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Added August 9, 2009
 


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