How tragedy of 9/11 turned Chicago-area man into a LEGO legend

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CHICAGO -- It filled his childhood, even launched him into a career in architecture, but Adam Reed Tucker didn’t merge his two passions until 2006.

Like many Americans devastated by the loss of life on 9/11, Tucker also found in the years that followed the attacks that architecture was suffering.

He said he wanted to raise awareness not to be afraid of vertical architecture of tall buildings. Tucker made a LEGO model of One World Trade Center, to teach people why the buildings failed and collapsed.

He filled 12 carts of LEGOs and began reacquainting himself with the brick. Today he is a LEGO certified professional. There are only 13 in the world. He’s one of the lead designers of the LEGO Architecture Series, one of the founders of the largest LEGO convention in North America, and the man behind Brick by Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry. At 60 feet long the Golden Gate Bridge is the longest piece he’s ever constructed.

Each of Tucker’s pieces has a story. His northwest suburban home serves as his studio, a spot for some favorite kits, a workspace and some storage.

He says he has about 3 million bricks at his home. There are another 3 to 6 million at another workshop for client projects and some private commissions. He also has three other exhibits to roll out between now and 2025.

Tucker doesn’t use any computers or calculators, just his mind and creativity, inspiration he hopes is picked up by adults and kids alike.

There are two LEGO events at the Museum of Science and Industry this weekend:

Summer Brick Party

Saturday, July 16

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Activities held throughout the day

After Hours Brick Bash

Sat. July 16

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

21 and older

Tickets $30

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