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Pierce Hall I Love You, But They're Tearing You Down
Stanley R. Pierce Hall 1960-2013 on the University of Chicago Campus. Architect Harry Weese. A commissioned work to be placed in the new dormitory to be built on site.
About this creation

Pierce Hall. When I was 16, I moved to Hyde Park. This is the dormitory on the University Campus that was right across the street form my apartment. I could look out my sun parlor windows and see the building. It was a undergraduate dormitory, so there was a lot to see.




The original plan was to have two residential towers, but the project was never completed. Because the building is become outdated, it will be torn down in August of 2013 and a new dorm nearly four times the size will be constructed in it's place. The current residents of Pierce wanted a physical representation of the structure as a remembrance. As a member of the University community, I was connected and jumped at the opportunity to build something I spent so many years living right next door to.




My contact at Pierce, Natalie, a second year undergrad, was kind enough to provide me with a sketch-up model of the building which proved invaluable.




I still live in the neighborhood, so I took many walks over to the site to get pictures. This is the internal courtyard which leads to the main entrance.




Here I am with Natalie and the ceremony honoring Pierce Hall. It occurred on alumni weekend, so there were residents from the very first year it opened in attendance. One couple who met at U of C told me how the wife's father had repelled down the side of the building the first year it opened. I was able to give a short speech about my work. Also, can you see the name tag around my neck? They gave it to me when I arrived at the event and it read "Dave Kaleta, Lego Master", Awesome!




A crowd gathers to get a closer look.




A former student at the school I teach attends U of C and is an RA. Mario gave a speech about how even though the building is old and falling apart (apparently there was an exploding toilet indecent recently and the elevators constantly break down), it's the people that make Pierce special. Mario is pointing to where his room was.




While this is the front and most pleasing edge of the structure, most people don't see it this way because of an enclosed field that runs along side it. However, this is how most students who come to eat at its dining hall first encounter the building.




The tower itself is where the residents live. It was very important to them that I include all eight residential floors. This made the proportions slightly skewed, but the client is always right. I included shades on every window at varying heights. Living across the street, I always noticed the students adjusting their shades and I felt this was an important feature of the building.




A detail of the interior courtyard where the students enter the building. This section is where the dining hall is housed.




This is a detail of the corner of 55th and University. Notice the emergency call box.




This is the view from 55th and University. The building is protected from the busy traffic on 55th Street.




A view of the 55th Street facade.



This was a really fun project for me. Even though the building may seem simple, it proved quite challenging to design out of Lego. Thank you to Natalie and Dan who arranged for this work, and to the entire U of C community.







Comments

 I like it 
  September 2, 2013
Very realistic!
 I like it 
  July 16, 2013
Amazing work!
 I like it 
  July 16, 2013
I really love this scale, you did very well with this! it s beautiful! I ought to make more of that kind of structure, it s pretty cool!
 I like it 
  July 3, 2013
Nice! This looks a lot like the three towers that make up a residence hall at my college.
 I like it 
  June 30, 2013
Sweet! Well, that's all my level of competence in this subject allows me to say.
Dave Kaleta
 I like it 
Emerald Knight
  June 26, 2013
most impressive lego !>>.....well done
 I made it 
  June 26, 2013
Quoting Emerald Knight most impressive lego !>>.....well done
And again, thank you E.K.! I truly do appreciate everyone who takes the time to look at my work. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 26, 2013
Quoting Steve Sackett I was a resident the first four years (1960-64). I'm sorry I missed the party alumni weekend, but my 50th is next year and I can't come twice. Thank you for making the model. Pierce will always be a (mixed) remembrance. I remember the rappelling incident and wonder if anybody knows the e-mail of the person who did it. I knew the other people involved as well.
Steve, Wow, thanks for sharing your story! I'm so glad you could see this model and I hope more alumni get a chance to view it. See you at Jimmy's next year? ~DK
 I like it 
  June 25, 2013
I was a resident the first four years (1960-64). I'm sorry I missed the party alumni weekend, but my 50th is next year and I can't come twice. Thank you for making the model. Pierce will always be a (mixed) remembrance. I remember the rappelling incident and wonder if anybody knows the e-mail of the person who did it. I knew the other people involved as well.
 I made it 
  June 25, 2013
Quoting Marc dZ What a brilliant build!! Everything is subtle, neat, balanced. The result is so beautiful. The rendition is superb, a so unique tribute!! Congrats!!
Thanks Marc! I really appreciate your comment. Simplicity is definitely key at this scale; pick the important elements and focus on them. ~DK
 I like it 
  June 25, 2013
What a brilliant build!! Everything is subtle, neat, balanced. The result is so beautiful. The rendition is superb, a so unique tribute!! Congrats!!
 I made it 
  June 25, 2013
Quoting Parrington Levens nostalgic
Thanks Parrington! ~DK
 I made it 
  June 25, 2013
Quoting Chris Phipson What a great build Dave! Exploding toilet huh? They musta had dinner with Stash... ~ Chris.
Thanks Chris! I think it was actually toilets, plural. But it's still a great building. ~DK
 I like it 
  June 25, 2013
nostalgic
 I like it 
  June 25, 2013
What a great build Dave! Exploding toilet huh? They musta had dinner with Stash... ~ Chris.
 I made it 
  June 24, 2013
Quoting LukeClarenceVan The Revanchist Congratulations on the commission, and on creating such a spectacular build. Very striking design and colour use, one of the most visually appealing MOCs I've seen. Great attention to detail as well, the shades are a ray of genius.
Thanks LCV! I really like the shades as well! ~DK
 I like it 
  June 24, 2013
Congratulations on the commission, and on creating such a spectacular build. Very striking design and colour use, one of the most visually appealing MOCs I've seen. Great attention to detail as well, the shades are a ray of genius.
 I made it 
  June 24, 2013
Quoting Topsy Creatori (StoveTopCreator!) A great tribute for you and the university! :)
Thanks Topsy! Let's hope they can keep the model together until the new dorm opens! ~DK
 I like it 
  June 24, 2013
A great tribute for you and the university! :)
 I made it 
  June 24, 2013
Quoting Stuart Lucas Super model (as ever), this is a great way to pay tribute to your alma mater. Great attention to detail with the window blinds and the dense tree foliage, very nicely done!
Thanks Stuart! The school I teach at is affiliated with UChicago, but I actually attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_University ~DK
 I made it 
  June 24, 2013
Quoting Ryan Link A beautiful model, nice work!
Thanks Ryan! I really like the way it turned out. ~DK
 I like it 
  June 24, 2013
Super model (as ever), this is a great way to pay tribute to your alma mater. Great attention to detail with the window blinds and the dense tree foliage, very nicely done!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2013
A beautiful model, nice work!
 I made it 
  June 23, 2013
Quoting Pedro Resendes Very nice work!
Thanks Perdo! I appreciate your complement. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 23, 2013
Quoting Mark McPeek So beautifully detailed! A real masterpiece! I love it!
Thanks Mark! It's hard to capture the right amount of detail in microscale. I originally wanted to show more of the trapezoid shape of the bay windows, but that would have made it MUCH bigger. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 23, 2013
Quoting A Sargent Amazing job! I love the color use!
Thanks A.S.! The colors turned out pretty well. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 23, 2013
Quoting Grant W. Awesome!
Thanks Grant! Your comment is always appreciated. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 23, 2013
Quoting Henrik Hoexbroe Absolutly excellent MOC. Nice details on the windows of the middle building, and nice dark-green trees also!
Thanks Henrik! It's a real complement coming from someone who does architectural builds as well as you. There's some cool trapping going on on those windows that you can't really see. ~DK
 I like it 
  June 23, 2013
Very nice work!
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
So beautifully detailed! A real masterpiece! I love it!
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
Amazing job! I love the color use!
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting David Alexander Smith Great architecture work. Colour use especially noticeable.
Thanks David! It was tough with the limited elements available in medium flesh; particularly on the SNOT work on the short buildings. But a challenge can be it's own reward. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Droid Commander Battler Co0l building! good job!
Thanks D.C.B.! I appreciate your kind words. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Master Shifu Leo J Gorgeous!
Thanks Joel! They served some sort of bacon wrapped hors d'oeuvres at the reception; you would have loved it. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Mr. Xenomurphy Chicago - just like New York - has to offer a lot of interesting architecture. The extra efford that you put in every wonderful detail shows how much fun you've had with the project. I'm sure students of former and futur generations will love it just like me.
Thanks Thor! It's no Daily Planet, but I do love a good architectural build. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Lel H The Lego corporation created a model of another building on Campus: the Robie House. This is a far superior achievement. Excellent work.
Thanks Lel! I think Adam Reed Tucker did an excellent job on the Robie House; it always different when you have to design a model as a kit that will be sold. You should see his superscale model he built for himself where he go to include all the details. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Tim Watts Outstanding!
Thanks Tim! Most appreciated. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting JS Can Great job! Next you can build the under-section with polls coming down to the cave.
Thanks Jason! It was great to meet you and your wife at BW. My mom said, "Did you hear? That guy came all the way from Hong Kong to meet Dave!" She's a trip. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Spencer R. Nice job!
Thanks Spencer! It's a very high complement coming from someone who does architecture as well as you. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Spencer R. Nice job!
Thanks Spencer! It's a very high complement coming from someone who does architecture as well as you. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Daniel Calleri An excellent build Dave! The detail and scale are excellent. I wish I'd known the building as intimately as you...an untold number of stories in there I'd wager.
Thanks Dan! Next up: Earl Shapiro Hall! ~DK
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting El Barto ! Congrats! Very impressive rendition, with all the little details. You ARE a Lego Master!
Haha! Thanks Bart. ~DK
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
Awesome!
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
Absolutly excellent MOC. Nice details on the windows of the middle building, and nice dark-green trees also!
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
Great architecture work. Colour use especially noticeable.
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
Co0l building! good job!
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
Gorgeous!
 I like it 
  June 22, 2013
Chicago - just like New York - has to offer a lot of interesting architecture. The extra efford that you put in every wonderful detail shows how much fun you've had with the project. I'm sure students of former and futur generations will love it just like me.
  June 21, 2013
The Lego corporation created a model of another building on Campus: the Robie House. This is a far superior achievement. Excellent work.
  June 21, 2013
Outstanding!
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Great job! Next you can build the under-section with polls coming down to the cave.
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Nice job!
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
An excellent build Dave! The detail and scale are excellent. I wish I'd known the building as intimately as you...an untold number of stories in there I'd wager.
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Congrats! Very impressive rendition, with all the little details. You ARE a Lego Master!
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Ian Spacek Beautiful architectural work, Dave! Your model looks very accurate.
Thanks Ian! The residents loved all the little details I included. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Nick Pascale Do not feel bad they are tearing it down...
No worries Nick, the title is a play on an LCD Soundsystem song. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting David Pickett A great model of my old dorm. I love that I can find my old windows on the model :)
Thanks David! I had only been in Pierce once before the unveiling, for my friend's rock concert in one of the common spaces. Glad you appreciate it. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Mister Lego ~ Great model! What a way to remember a building, make it out of Lego! I'm sure your clients were thrilled :)
Thanks M.L.! It went over very well at the ceremony. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Senator Chinchilla . Snazzy building! Neat color scheme too.
Thanks S.C.! Luckily medium flesh exists or it wouldn't work as well. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Justin L. Nice architecture.
Thanks Justin! The Bay windows were the key; once I figured them out, the rest was easy. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Shane Cooper i'm so not going to ask why you noticed the residents adjusting their blinds. Nope. Not gonna.
Shane, Hey, I was a teenage boy, what'd you expect :) ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Digital Dreams Elegant in its simplicity.
Thanks D.D.! Kind of a product of it's era, but beautiful none the less. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting --R.K. Blast-- Excellent work Dave! A beautiful piece of work. --Blast--
Thanks Blast! It was pretty cool to be approached on this one. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Matt Bace Wow! That is an amazing model -- a very good representation of the real building.
Thanks Matt! At first I wasn't sure about adjusting the proportions, but I feel it turned out well. ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting michael k. Nice!
Thanks Michael! ~DK
 I made it 
  June 21, 2013
Quoting Paul Vermeesch Stellar work, Dave! What a wonderful tribute to the building!
I learned a lot form you're build. It's no "best small building" but I'm proud of it! ~DK
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Beautiful architectural work, Dave! Your model looks very accurate.
  June 21, 2013
It was a beautiful building and your LEGO version was excellent and what a sweet way to memorialize it! B R A V O!
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Do not feel bad they are tearing it down...they did the same thing with my high school. the High School of Art & Design which was on Second between 56th and 57th was torn down. BUT as part of the deal the company that bought the whole block had to restore both A&D and P.S. 59. so we have a new school whose entrance is now on 56th! It is a beautiful - state of the art (no pun intended) building! Are my memories there? NO but now I can create some!
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
A great model of my old dorm. I love that I can find my old windows on the model :)
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Great model! What a way to remember a building, make it out of Lego! I'm sure your clients were thrilled :)
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Snazzy building! Neat color scheme too.
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Nice architecture.
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Stellar work, Dave! What a wonderful tribute to the building!
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
i'm so not going to ask why you noticed the residents adjusting their blinds. Nope. Not gonna.
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Elegant in its simplicity.
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Excellent work Dave! A beautiful piece of work. --Blast--
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Wow! That is an amazing model -- a very good representation of the real building.
 I like it 
  June 21, 2013
Nice!
 
By Dave Kaleta
Add to my favorite builders

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Added June 21, 2013
 


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