Started as a COVID-19 hobby, Huntley man has built dozens of Lego creations

Peter Mazzoni of Huntley's Lego city at Huntley Springs Retirement Resort July 9, 2024.

Peter Mazzoni got into building Legos as a COVID-19 hobby. Now the Huntley resident has built Notre Dame Cathedral, the Titanic and many iconic edifices in Lego form.

Mazzoni, who is in his 80s, has an engineering background and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era, typically builds lego structures from kits he finds online that interest him. In his Huntley apartment, he has several Lego structures on display, including a city, the cathedral, and Cinderella’s castle. He estimated he’s built about 30 Lego structures over the years.

Peter Mazzoni of Huntley lights up a Lego lighthouse at Huntley Springs Retirement Resort July 9, 2024.

He said he had Cinderella’s castle on display in the lobby at the Huntley Springs Retirement Resort where he lives, but now his nearly 4½-feet-long replica of the Titanic is available for fellow residents and visitors to enjoy.

The Titanic replica has some spotlights pointing up to it and has some information about the ill-fated ship for visitors to read. The fact sheet also says it’s a 1:200 scale and is 53 inches long, 17.5 inches and 6 inches wide.

The Titanic replica’s display in the lobby is how John Kawa, who lives next door to Mazzoni, learned of his neighbor’s hobby, and was impressed enough to call the Northwest Herald, suggesting the story. Mazzoni said the replica is comprised of nearly 9,100 pieces, and Kawa said he first saw it about a month ago.

“That’s a lot of pieces to put together,” Kawa said.

Peter Mazzoni of Huntley shows off his Titanic replica at Huntley Springs Retirement Resort July 9, 2024.

In addition to building from Lego kits, Mazzoni also uses battery-powered lights to illuminate many of his creations.

“It makes a big difference,” Mazzoni said. It “looks like they came alive.”

Mazzoni said he was “surfing the internet” and found a website that makes lights that go with the Lego kits. That’s where Mazzoni gets the lights, and he’s added lighting to a lot of his structures, including a mini Lego city.

The city has buildings, Lego people, streetlights and vegetation. There’s a train nearby the city but it’s not connected to the brick metropolis. Mazzoni said it took him five Lego kits and estimated it took six months to build. He said he built the Lego city while he lived in Shorewood, moving to Huntley Springs with his late wife about a year ago; his daughter lives close by.

His family has been supportive of his Lego hobby. Mazzoni said his son was the one who encouraged him to get into Legos, and last year for Father’s Day, his children got him a Lego lighthouse that has a rotating light at the top and sits on his coffee table.

Mazzoni said he works on the Lego projects “a little bit at a time,” noting there’s lot of activities going on at Huntley Springs. Would he have gotten into the Lego hobby had it not been for the pandemic?

“Probably not,” he said.

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