The Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club stopped at the Geneva Public Library this weekend with an estimated 1 million pieces and entertained a constant crowd of visitors with plenty of dioramas and landscapes that filled a lower-level event room.
"The show is as much for us as anyone else," said member Roger Snow of Batavia. "Because our displays are stored in boxes most of the time we don't get to see it as much as we like."
Snow says he personally has more than 1.3 million LEGO pieces and keeps them insured. He displayed a scale replica of the historic Kane County Courthouse on Third Street in Geneva, complete with the owls that live in the pine tree on the lawn, and the original train depot.
"It's inspiring to see other members' work," said newer club member Jim Pirzyk of Naperville. He is planning on reproducing the Chicago Prudential Building as it was when his mother worked there in the 1960s.
Other members recreated fictional settings. Matt De Lanoy of Woodridge displayed cartoon themes including Springfield, home of "The Simpsons," as well as the home of Calvin & Hobbes and Nintendo's Mario's World.
Together, the members estimated it would cost at least $100,000 to duplicate the display in the library basement. The library building itself was also represented in the display.
"I don't want to know how much I've spent," said De Lanoy. "That might take some of the fun out of it."
The club displays six to seven times a year throughout the suburbs. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.