Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Daughters of the American Revolution in Yorktown celebrate 300 years of Custom House with Lego warehouse model

Doc Brick with the Lego Custom House model in front of of actual building. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Visit Yorktown Facebook page)
“Doc Brick” with the Lego Custom House model in front of of actual building. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Visit Yorktown Facebook page)

Man, with know-how and determination, one can really create unique things using Lego.

Take for instance Dick Gay, who owns a company in Williamsburg called Brick X — the company has been around for four years.

“Doc Brick” as Gay’s known, was approached by Jennifer Carver from the Comte de Grasse Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution to reproduce the warehouse configuration of 1720 as a Custom House museum display using only Lego.

He is known in the area through word of mouth and online for his unique Lego replicas and creations. He became interested in Lego again after playing with his younger son.

“Just from spending time with him I got hooked and people would call me and ask me to replicate stuff after seeing it in person or online,” Gay said. 

His son, now 15, helps Gay on projects, he said.

After accepting the Custom House project, he said he consulted restoration blueprints from 1929. Gay used 4,300 Lego bricks and after working about 77 hours to design and build the model, it is finally on display at the Custom House. 

Gay said Lego does not make colonial style windows and the blueprints he consulted did not have a plan for the second floor, so those were a few challenges he faced in creating the model.

A museum in the building has been open to the public for free on Sundays from June to October since 1930.  The Yorktown chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution has owned and maintained the historic Yorktown Custom House since 1924. Anyone who wants to see the replica in person Brick-X built can email yorktowncustomhouse@gmail.com to set up a tour of the house.   

To view more of Gay’s work, check out his Facebook page here and his storefront at the art cooperative at 106 Bacon Ave.

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