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City Blocks Exhibit Overview
City Blocks is all about one question: What makes a good city? And what’s a better way to explore that question than with one of the most iconic building blocks ever created – the Lego brick! Inspect Lego models of famous and unique Utah buildings, consider the future of construction along the Wasatch front, and master the basics of city planning. City Blocks is a versatile exhibit that celebrates the instinct to build that we all have.
City Blocks Exhibit Highlights
Local Icons in LEGO® Bricks
Upon entering the City Blocks Exhibit visitors will be amazed at large scale Utah buildings in LEGO® Brick! Explore the gallery centerpieces and admire replicas of Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Cathedral of the Madeleine and more. Take in the history of the architecture and the planning that made each of these buildings the landmarks they are today. Each sculpture was built by a different brick artist and each has a unique style that will inspire your own creations at our open LEGO® brick building tables.
City Blocks features an interactive to share your favorite places in the Wasatch Front and a gallery of our favorite places to view public art. Find the map wall and grab a sticker to mark your favorite place to read, grab a bite or view the city lights. View other stickers on the map and perhaps visit someone else’s favorite spot to see what you discover about your SLC. Next, think of what else that makes our city a lively community. At the public art wall you can learn more about the unique local artists featured around the Wasatch and be sure to share your own ideas for public art in your community at the station nearby.
Urban Planning in Action
What do you think really makes a good city? Build your ideas with LEGO® brick in the diorama station and consider the challenges of each environment as you construct buildings in the desert, the forest, the city and the beach. How would you plot streets, towers, bridges or homes in those environments? After building your ideal city, consider ways to improve your current community. What plans would you make to change your neighborhood, town or city for the better? Draw or write those ideas at the station near the diorama.
Salt Lake City History
Explore City Blocks and take in Salt Lake’s own urban planning story, from the beginning of the valley’s street grid to the addition of the Utah Transit Authority’s Trax light rail. How does Salt Lake’s planning measure up to other places? Compare the scale of a city block here to blocks in Portland or Little Rock. Consider the ways Salt Lake has evolved through the impact of tourism. Major events such as the 2002 Winter Olympics boosted development in the Wasatch as sports facilities were built and a new silhouette, the Grand America Hotel, was added to the city skyline.
Art Made from LEGO® Bricks
Check out the gallery of pop-art portraits and sculptures by artist Jen Smart. Using thousands of bricks, this artist creates pixilated images of heroes and Hollywood icons. The Leonardo features a few of Smart’s sculptures in the museum and her largest piece, a life-sized Wonder Woman statue, in the Innovation Showcase on the third floor of the museum. Got plans for your own large scale brick art? Try the LeoCAD brick software station and bring it to life. The software allows users to build with any LEGO® brick and is capable of turning your creations into instructions for real life assembly.
Future of the Wasatch Front
Spanning the length of the City Bocks exhibit is a wall dedicated to visualizing the valley’s future. Consider the effects of tourism, air quality, and other factors that shape the Wasatch Front. Compare trends and predictions about intersecting issues such as energy usage and population growth. This data comes from a special project under the governor’s office called Envision Utah. More than 400 experts and over 60,000 Utahns helped create this report of our goals for the future of the state.
The Leonardo da Vinci Connection
Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches included designs for cathedrals and other architecture. He created plans for a more hygienic city as a response to the devastation of the plague. Da Vinci even made designs for a canal that could generate revenue via tolls and be a safer mode of transportation. Although many of those designs were never constructed, da Vinci’s ingenuity advanced his capabilities as a cartographer. He invented an odometer which may have guided the design of his map of the town Imola. Da Vinci created The map while he was employed as an architect and general engineer for Duke Cesare. It was likely very valuable as its precision allowed the duke advantages in timing his travel and battles.