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April 18, 2002
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Amy Hughes spent a lot of time building a church. For her cat. Out of legos.
posted by donkeysuck (52 comments total)

 
I'm not sure what I find more disturbing: The fact that she built a huge detailed church out of Legos, that she must have an obscene amount of free time to spend on this sort of thing (and thus has no real life), or all those little Lego people she stuck in there.

OK, I just noticed all the little people have names. Lego people win for greatest creep factor, hands down.

Excuse me, I need to go outside and get rid of these goosebumps... [Psycho theme plays in the background...]
posted by Watsonne at 1:00 PM on April 18, 2002


The photos are amazing, like this first one of the interior.
posted by mathowie at 1:00 PM on April 18, 2002


Wow...that was a great link. The only bad thing, is that the site owner has deep linking disabled. So none of the links posted here go anyhere.
posted by patrickje at 1:02 PM on April 18, 2002


I wonder if that cat wanted a church built in its honor.
posted by pb at 1:04 PM on April 18, 2002


Hey, look! There's an alter boy in the confessional booth with one of the priests...
posted by bondcliff at 1:05 PM on April 18, 2002


I wish I was a special guest.
posted by Marquis at 1:05 PM on April 18, 2002


the site owner has deep linking disabled

Awww, fuck. Well click on 'Special Guests'.

Great link, donkeysuck!
posted by Marquis at 1:06 PM on April 18, 2002


"Rev. Ashley tells us it feels like he's floating while he stands at the pulpit"

Toy Reverend speaks to cat-lady and her cats from lego pulpit. Creepy.
posted by readymade at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2002


That is not all she has built. Scroll down and check out the ornithopter and the large project table constructed just for the buckets of Lego.
posted by piskycritters at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2002


Apparently the C of C is very different from the Lutheran church...nobody's sitting in the back couple of pews.
posted by alumshubby at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2002


That's really impressive work. I wish Lego would go back to emphasizing projects like this and Eric Harshbarger's instead of their highly specialized often licensed kits.

(I get the impression the church wasn’t built for the cat, but simply dedicated to her after she passed away)
posted by alan at 1:11 PM on April 18, 2002


This site is too disturbing for words. In a so weird it'd make a cool MeFi entry sorta way of course. Kudos, donkeysuck!
posted by sigma7 at 1:15 PM on April 18, 2002


Why is this disturbing?I think it's a beautiful thing, so detailed and amazing. Wonderful link, donkeysuck.

Why, when a human dedicates so much of their effort and creativity to making something, do people have to dismiss it with 's/he has no life'? WTF? What is 'having a life', anyway? I believe that someone who creates something, anything, is more alive than anyone who would sit around criticizing them.

Did the cat(s) get struck by a car? I can't figure out which cat is which, and why it/they died so young.
posted by evanizer at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2002 [1 favorite]


I guess what I find so disturbing about it is that it really can serve no purpose other than spectacle. Being made out of Legos, it really cannot be used as shelter or a place of real congragation.

That said, as a piece of uberquirky art, I do think it's somewhat impressive.
posted by sigma7 at 1:25 PM on April 18, 2002


And the cat, Precious, died on the day of completion... it even has the cachet of legendary architecture (in small scale).
posted by kokogiak at 1:31 PM on April 18, 2002 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure this is sick.
posted by jpoulos at 1:40 PM on April 18, 2002


pb, all cats want a church built in their honor. apparently you've never lived with a cat.
posted by Danf at 1:41 PM on April 18, 2002


After seeing the Lego Church I don't feel so bad about all the time I spend surfing the web. It really is an amazing structure and the photos are of much higher quality than many of the photos I see on personal sites.

But I have to side with the MeFiers who are just a little creeped out by the whole thing. It's so strange the cat died on the day the church was finished. I hope Amy isn't superstitious.
posted by gutenberg at 1:41 PM on April 18, 2002


Can the LEGO floor be comfy for a cat? Our two always seek out the softest spots in the house. This kind of reminds me of when The Simpsons go to Blocko Land, and as they sail a Blocko boat down a Blocko river, Homer splashes Blocko water at people. Ow, ow, ow!
posted by GaelFC at 1:46 PM on April 18, 2002


I don't understand why people find this sick and disturbing. Maybe because it's a church? Take away the fact that it's a church and look at the amazing detail that went into this piece of art. It was obviously very well planned and executed. Maybe it's because I've spent so much time playing legos - but I'm amazed at the inlays, colors, etc... On top of that, she went to great lengths to capture the structure with high quality photos. This is a great link.
posted by stormy at 1:47 PM on April 18, 2002


Why, when a human dedicates so much of their effort and creativity to making something, do people have to dismiss it with 's/he has no life'?

Clearly this woman should have spent her time doing something more valuable, like joining the rest of us in spending all of our leisure time watching television or surfing the Internet.

I love the church. I had no idea churches had so many different structures with names that sound like something out of a Harry Potter book.

The one thing that creeps me out, though, is the total absence of Lego People of Color.
posted by rcade at 1:51 PM on April 18, 2002


wow, that kicks ass :) great use of clear bricks!
posted by kliuless at 1:54 PM on April 18, 2002


To the point of cats and hard surfaces - Our cats often went for hard surfaces (wood, glass, tile, plastic) over (the couch, carpet, bed, etc.). We always thought it was due to the fact that the hard surfaces tend to be cooler and our (longhair) cats were more comfy being cool.
posted by stormy at 1:54 PM on April 18, 2002


"The one thing that creeps me out, though, is the total absence of Lego People of Color."

They're all at the Lego Southern Baptist Church, on the other side of town.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:56 PM on April 18, 2002


Oh, don't get me wrong. This is very impressive, and certainly MUCH better than anything I ever built out of Legos. I guess I'm just having trouble conceptualizing how someone gets started on a project like this. "Hmm, what should I do today? I know, I'll build an intricate church, complete with holy water and little people."

Or maybe it's just intense envy because I have no artistic talents whatsoever. ;-)
posted by Watsonne at 1:56 PM on April 18, 2002


Wow. Great link.

Wow. A drinking foutain and doors to the restrooms. Wonder if the restrooms are designed to meet the latest building codes. Maybe Abston has adopted the new international building code.
posted by Dick Paris at 1:58 PM on April 18, 2002


all cats want a church built in their honor. apparently you've never lived with a cat.

Danf, if you had an email address in your profile, I'd've sent this personally, but you don't, so...

*bwahahahah*

that's all.

Otherwise my only comment is that absolutely anything can be creepy when taken too far. It is for you, the viewer of the cat lady church art, to determine whether this is a fun little Lego-building hobby, or whether it's gone over the line to full-blown Lego OCD.
posted by Sapphireblue at 2:01 PM on April 18, 2002


The one thing that creeps me out, though, is the total absence of Lego People of Color.

Lego has tried in the past to come up with other shades of minifig. However the testing results indicated that they would be poorly recieved, as the dyes just simply could not represent humanity accurately.

So, the Lego party line is that... they are (a strange shade of) yellow, and not representative of any one skin shade, but instead represent all of humanity...
posted by jkaczor at 2:13 PM on April 18, 2002


"The neighborhood cats have discovered our stock of construction materials and our prototype projects. "

the cats don't belong to her? that sort of makes things a bit more peculiar to me.

but, all religion and cat stuff aside, it is a pretty amazing project. i wish i had the patience!
posted by jerseygirl at 2:15 PM on April 18, 2002


"The neighborhood cats have discovered our stock of construction materials and our prototype projects. "

It seems pretty obvious that her updates page is written from the POV of a minifig, since Amy Hughes is referred to as the contractor.
posted by dogmatic at 2:22 PM on April 18, 2002


The context of the Construction Log makes it pretty clear that the description of the cats as "neighborhood cats" is part of the conceit that this is a "real" church, being built in a "real" neighborhood. Otherwise, I agree with everyone else - this is both mondo impressive and vaguely disturbing.
posted by yhbc at 2:22 PM on April 18, 2002


Jinx.
posted by yhbc at 2:23 PM on April 18, 2002


Kind of strange that the root of her site is "intentionally left blank." Especially since by putting the phrase on the page, it's no longer blank.
posted by jaden at 2:31 PM on April 18, 2002


Wow.

The St Murray Cathedral begins construction in three years.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:50 PM on April 18, 2002


Aside from the lady's mental health, the church is actually a pretty cool looking building, not just in a lego sense, but architecturally. You could probably build something pretty similar to her model and it wouldn't look half bad.
posted by signal at 2:57 PM on April 18, 2002


This creeped me out at first but now I think it reflects a person who is probably very innocent, unjaded, and happy. It's nice to see that once in awhile. I guess it still creeps me out a little bit.
posted by plaino at 3:12 PM on April 18, 2002


hrm... She doesn't like the cats walking on the roof of the 3 ft. LEGO church because she's afraid they'll fall in and hurt themselves? My cat used to jump off the roof of my house to pounce on passers-by. He seemed to survive that just fine.
posted by kahboom at 3:17 PM on April 18, 2002


I was all ready to mock this site when I first arrived from this link.

Then I was absolutely floored by the detail and dedication of the work she did. I don't feel creeped out by it one bit. Usually overly-religious people and obsessions are things that bother me, but this has such a wholesome feel to it that I just have to sit here in awe.

Wow.
posted by Grum at 3:28 PM on April 18, 2002


The Lego party line, as mentioned by jkaczor.
posted by piskycritters at 3:41 PM on April 18, 2002


I'm totally impressed by the detail and time that Ms. Hughes put into this project. It is a standing testament to the power and individuality of artistic endeavour, and I have no doubt that this is as artistic an endeavour as any other. I can't begin to form a single negative reaction to this, because I know that I have never even contemplated undertaking a project half as rigorous. I wish her equal success with her upcoming projects.
posted by Dreama at 3:57 PM on April 18, 2002 [1 favorite]


Awesome! If the cat's not there anymore I wanna move in...
posted by jonmc at 4:05 PM on April 18, 2002


"I'm not sure what I find more disturbing: The fact that she built a huge detailed church out of Legos, that she must have an obscene amount of free time to spend on this sort of thing (and thus has no real life),"

Everyone has free time, and everyone has, or can have, hobbies. This is what this is, a hobby.

It may not be your idea of a hobby, or mine (hey, where do you get those clear legos? Just asking) But anyone's hobby, put under this sort of ridiculous degree of scrutiny, is going to sound kind of weird, even if, as rcade said, it's only sludging out in front of the tv or manically refreshing metafilter (not that I do that, not me!)

This is perfect. If I could have asked for anything more, then perhaps, perhaps, it would have been nice to have a short movie of the giant cat jumping in and destroying the patrons.
posted by lucien at 4:48 PM on April 18, 2002 [1 favorite]


disturbingly impressive. to requote just about everybody who's commented. i agree. My cats really liked rubbing their backs on the floor of the church. The studs must feel pretty good. They also liked rubbing their faces on the many corners. I had to vacuum the church before I started installing pews. . ironic. the cats liked the lego bumps on the floor. then she had to go spoil all the fun by putting in pews and people... she took all the fun out of church.
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 5:11 PM on April 18, 2002


I'm a pretty hard-nosed guy, but the poem about God lending out kittens made me bawl.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:29 PM on April 18, 2002


sixtwenty3dc, true. But wait, don't throw away your lego people! The (weirdly-named) Cat Spa will solve that problem.
posted by lucien at 7:16 PM on April 18, 2002


I'm a pretty hard-nosed guy, but the poem about God lending out kittens made me bawl.

Really? If so, I am officially revoking your hard-nosed guy license. Saccharine poetic tributes to dead pets are the first thing I would outlaw after the repeal of the First Amendment.
posted by rcade at 7:43 PM on April 18, 2002


What I find most remarkable about this project (other than its inherent coolness) is that her love comes through clearly, even on the web. There is a tremendous sweetness to this that transcends the usual hipster recoil.

Very, very nice link. It would be in my top 20 mefi list.
posted by frykitty at 10:10 PM on April 18, 2002


Enjoyable link. I do find it somewhat odd - what's with the construction log and the whole "this is a real curch" conceit? I don't find it unsettling that she spent so much time building such a beautiful model, but the fact that she seems so wrapped up in the fantasy is a little disturbing.

But who cares what I think? Let her haver her fun.

The important question is, where do I send my application?

How many Master Builders are there?

Well, inside the LEGO Company, there are around 200 people designing and building all kinds of things...

posted by syzygy at 9:44 AM on April 19, 2002


Another vote for. It's beautiful, even speaking as a committed atheist. The construction log and those other little details seem more like an involved joke than signs of anything more disturbing.

hey, where do you get those clear legos?

Apparantly you have to order them specially. Check out a page called "UPS Stinks" (via the construction log).
posted by Grangousier at 11:06 AM on April 19, 2002


Lots of folks are calling this disturbing and making vaguely disparaging comments about the builder, and y'all wonder why her main page is blank and deep linking is disabled? Gee, yeah, that's a puzzler. Perhaps because she built it for herself, and documented it for herself, a few friends, and some fellow lego hobbyists and never intended it to be the object of general speculation from strangers.

Whatever her motivation, it's a damned impressive piece of work. Is it obsessive? Maybe a little. So what. Everyone has an obsession, and most of them look a little strange to those of us on the outside.

Besides, I blogged the church almost 2 weeks ago, so y'all are *slow*. :) It just never occurs to me to post links to MF.
posted by herself at 11:28 AM on April 19, 2002


It seems she took the site down. The link now goes to an FAQ, including the following:

16. Where did the church go?

It's been permanently removed. A lot of fine people visited, enjoyed it and wrote decent comments in their forums. A lot of cretins also visited, found it to be too complex for their little minds and invited all their buddies to visit. That's more traffic than my site can handle.


Bummer.
posted by mattpfeff at 11:57 AM on April 24, 2002 [1 favorite]


Even on Google cache, you can't see anything.
Did anyone mirror it or save any pictures?
If so, send me a link.
posted by y2karl at 9:17 AM on April 26, 2002


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