Ohio State professor builds epic Lego stadium

Wed, Jan 19
2:05
PM ET
Ohio State LegoCourtesy of Paul JanssenPaul Janssen's to-scale replica of Ohio Stadium took more than two years to build.

Paul Janssen is 42 years old. He's an associate professor of physiology and cell biology and an associate professor in cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State University. He holds a Ph.D.

And he loves playing with Legos.

"People who haven't seen the Lego models built don't know what it takes, and they easily dismiss it," Janssen said. "But it's not playing anymore; it's using it as an art medium. I've seen many people who think it's a nerdy hobby, but I haven't met anyone who, once they've seen it, still holds that view."

Janssen began playing with Legos when he was around 4 but stopped once he got to middle school -- plastic bricks took a back seat to soccer and girls. Years later, however, he took his old toys out to play with his son, and it snowballed into a hobby.

This continued love for the toy propelled Janssen to construct a to-scale replica of the Buckeyes' famed Ohio Stadium ... entirely out of Legos. It took him four years to collect the pieces and more than 1,000 hours to actually build the horseshoe-shaped stadium -- a difficult task given the rectangular shape of the bricks -- but Janssen has finally completed his Lego magnum opus.

"The stadium is such an iconic venue that when I saw this, and I was already building trains and skyscrapers at that time, a couple of friends and colleagues said that would be cool," he said of the stadium, which was built to 1:120 scale in his basement, typically between 5-9 a.m. before his family woke up. "People thought I wouldn't do it, but I guess I'm nuts enough to actually do it."

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