Iowa college student creates Lego model of Mason City hotel

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(ABC 6 News) – Many of us have a favorite place or two and for one Iowa college student, he was so inspired by his trip to Mason City’s Historic Park Inn, he decided to build it completely out of Lego.

Ethan Gonzalez, a student at Des Moines Area Community College has always had a love for Lego. Visiting the Iowa State Fair in 2013, he got inspired when he saw a competition to design his own model. Since 2014, he’s entered a new model every year and this year he created the Historic Park Inn.

“When I was thinking about ideas of which building I wanted to do, I remembered my family, we got to spend the night at the Historic Park Inn in Mason City,” said Gonzalez.

“I believe it was in 2016. It was an absolutely amazing experience. I loved every moment of it. Getting to see the detail in all the rooms, it’s such a treasure. It’s such a great landmark. Remembering that trip, I knew instantly that I wanted to recreate it out of Lego.”

The manager at the hotel got word of Ethan’s model and made a special trip to Des Moines to see it in person.

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“They absolutely loved it. They were just so amazed that someone made the hotel out of Lego. They loved looking at the small details, all the people on the inside, but also all the details on the outside. I’m just really glad they liked my work. I’m just kind of proud of it.”

The model took nearly a year to complete. Ethan estimates he used 5,000-6,000 legos in total with all of them coming from his personal collection.

“I love creating small little details to capture emotion, to capture stories in what I build.”

If you’d like to see the model yourself, it’s in the Skylight Room in the hotel right behind the front desk.