Josh Hall is passionate about Legos and Pittsburgh.  He has been creating sculptures of iconic Pittsburgh places with the snapping plastic blocks for years.

A replica of Knit-the-Bridge, with yellow bricks and multi-colored blocks for quilts, was one. The Pens logo and a Steeler’s helmet was another. His one-foot high replica in Lego of the Cathedral of Learning and Stephen C. Foster Memorial? That one deserves a longer life, he says.

“I love anything Pittsburgh,” he says. “I have a huge appreciation of both the interior and exterior of the Cathedral. It would be awesome to see Pittsburgh get the recognition (from LEGO) globally.”

The Oakland landmark replica won the S.W. Randall Lego Build Contest back in 2012. Encouraged by the win and with support of the local Lego user community—otherwise known as LUGS—Hall entered his design in the global Logo Ideas contest.

Slowly but surely, Pittsburgh has gotten behind it. The University of Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto and 820 other people have voted to support it so far. But Hall needs 10,000 votes total for Lego Ideas to take the replica seriously and consider packaging it for the mass market.

“Once you reach 10,000, Lego reviews it to see if it’s challenging enough,” he says. “I’m pretty confident it is—if I can just get the votes.”

Legos Ideas recently rebranded and launched its website. Those who vote must fill out a log in page and complete a short survey. Hall has until May 2015 to gather support.

He believes Pittsburgh can pull this off and asks everyone to please vote.

In the meantime, Hall is building a second Cathedral for the International Children’s Festival, which will run from May 14 to 18. Steel City LUG will run a storefront booth with children’s activities at 807 Penn Ave.

The Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, is not only the centerpiece Pitt’s main campus, but is the tallest educational building in the western hemisphere.

Hall used Google 3D Sketch to design the structure. It took about 60 hours and 1200 Lego pieces to build.

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared...