LEGO Ideas is a site set up for people around the world to submit their ideas for possible sets. After I created my Cathedral of Learning and Stephen Foster Memorial in the Spring of 2012, I had many people ask me if I was going to submit it as a project for LEGO to review. My pessimism for it having global appeal, or even that I’d reach the 10,000 votes needed to have LEGO review the project, kept me from submitting the idea. After more attention and suggestions, I decided I’d let the world decide if they want to support the project instead of answering for them. If it got to 10,000 votes, I’d let LEGO make the decision on it’s probability of being a set instead of me just nixing the idea for them. So, here we are.
The Cathedral of Learning and Stephen Foster Memorial has until May 1st, 2015 to reach 10,000 supports. As of April 30th, 2014. We’re at 806 votes. That was not small feat either. I’ve circulated the link in my emails and bricklink transactions for a hundred or so of those votes, but it was really during the first week of March that the project got a real boost in attention. First, Reddit got a hold of the link. Then The official University of Pittsburgh Twitter and Facebook accounts shared it. Then, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto shared it. Local news outlets ran some coverage on the project. From all of those, many fans were born and shared and voted for the project. It was the 4th most supported project in the world that spring break week. There is still a long road for our beloved Cathy to be immortalized in ABS though. To reach 10,000 votes, the project is needs a very broad audience to account for people taking the time to register a vote through facebook, twitter, or email accounts. Many of the projects that reach 10,000 votes have 300,000 views or more. If we reach that milestone, it will not be a result of any 1 person’s effort, but the work of a campus, an alumni, a city, a region, celebrities, professional athletes, and anyone with a connection to the wonderful landmark we all love and recognize.
Through the journey so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the level of interest in the model. I’ve had people contact me for instructions so they can build their own. I took the time to create a digital version so that I could produce the 500 pages of instructions. Don’t worry, the instructions will be MUCH simpler and easier to read in a final product. Since making the instructions available for free, I’ve heard back from some of them, including one supporter, who built one as a gift for his fiancé on her graduation day from the University of Pittsburgh. Can you imagine how flattered I was??? Sure, that wasn’t the intent, but I was just so floored at the use of something I made for myself. My heart runs wild with the idea of many people being able to share my joy for the model in their own way. The original model actually now sits with the University of Pittsburgh admissions office after I was contacted by a friend who wanted to give it as a gift to them on behalf of Mind of Media. I jumped at the opportunity to get the model in the hands of the University because that’s really where it belongs; In the heart of Oakland.
So, please, vote for the project and share this link – https://ideas.lego.com/projects/43478. Let this become a symbol of human creativity, a symbol of historic and architectural significance, a symbol of The University of Pittsburgh, a symbol of Pittsburgh, a symbol of all the nations represented in the nationality rooms, and a symbol of people coming together all over the world for 1 purpose. That’s big. But, it’s a big dream, and I’d like to share it with all of you.