Demolition Ideas Invited
scale model of Chicago's
standing 30 feet high and constructed of 15,000 Jenga blocks, is
on display in C.B. Hedgcock. Bryant
completed the project in late June.
is by far my biggest and tallest tower to date," said Varney,
who previously built models of the Chrysler and Empire
and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
"In the past, I've always built them in the library, where
I was limited by the height of the ceiling. The Hedgcock atrium
opened up more possibilities. Fred (Joyal) helped make it happen
in there, and I was able to use portable scaffolding."
worked on the model nights and weekend for about a month. The finished
product is comprised of 55 stories – half of the Sears
's actual 110.
But, like the original, it is capped off with blinking antennae.
student) Andrew Beaulieu built the antennae. The battery pack that
supplies their power weighs roughly 7 pounds. It was very difficult
to place atop the tower because I'm used to handling mere wooden
blocks that are a fraction of the weight. I was very jittery and
it was the most difficult balancing act I have ever performed. I
knew it would only take one falling Jenga block to fell this tower,
creating a domino effect. But once the battery was in position,
it provided much-needed stability for the antennae to be lowered
said his affinity for Jenga-block creations began in 1996, when
he tried out a friend's game that was about to be discarded. He
soon acquired another set to build more elaborate towers. Two sets
led to four, four to eight, and the rest is history.
Varney does not sketch blueprints of his projects in advance. He
said most of the design is in his head, but he relies on mathematics
and measuring to ensure they are in proper scale and proportion.
Varney has had at least one memorable precarious situation midway
Tower of Pisa fell seven times. I built a sub-platform on an angle
and the balconies collapsed. I eventually gave
up and built it with the sub-floor
close to the actual floor. When that was done, the weight kept it
I was very frazzled during that one."
would like the Sears Tower to
remain on display in Hedgcock at least through Thanksgiving. When
it is time for the structure
to come down, he said dismantling it block by block won't do. He
is trying to come up with a more creative
and visual mode of demolition.
person has already suggested selling $1 tickets for a chance to
roll a bowling ball at the structure, with proceeds going to charity.
If you have a unique idea for how the Sears Tower should fall, please
send it to Campus editor Kristi Evans at email@example.com.
Some suggestions might appear in a future issue of this newsletter.