News from Yorktown VA

October 21st, 2020 Uncategorized

Comte de Grasse Chapter NSDAR celebrates an Anniversary!

A chapter anniversary? Nope, the Custom House’s 300th anniversary! To mark the event, chapter member Toni Gay’s husband, Rick Gay was asked to reproduce the warehouse configuration of 1720 as a Custom House museum display. Instead of sand and clay, he used 4300 LEGO bricks working about 77 hours to design and build the model after consulting restoration blueprints from 1929 which gave hints of original details.

The design of the building is based on the width of the windows and everything was scaled around that size. The load bearing wall inside the building is actually a key part holding up the second and third floors. Details include owner Mr. Ambler not being happy with a farmer’s tobacco; a warehouse worker nailing down a crate; and a colonial tax collector inspecting a barrel that has been hoisted to the second floor. The LEGO Group doesn’t make colonial style windows. They are hand striped. The second and attic floors are built using a process known as SNOT. This means Studs Not On Top. The studs are actually facing the viewer and clip together very much like the actual Custom House. Mr. Ambler’s desk has drawers, correspondence, and quills. There is even a ladder to get to the second floor.

With current LEGO technology, the “newly built” Custom House 1720 will help share the story of the Comte de Grasse Chapter’s historic Custom House.