Updated, 1:52 p.m. Dec. 8 with more info on his Eagle project. Some commenters have erroneously stated that Adam’s Eagle project did not meet the requirements for an Eagle project. The BSA entrusts our adult volunteers to evaluate a project idea and determine its worthiness. The adults in this case did their job well, and the local BSA council supported their decision.
For his Eagle Scout service project, Adam Moore built a hotel.
Brick by brick — and without a drop of glue — Adam’s one-twentieth-scale Lego model of the historic Strater Hotel in Durango, Colo., took shape.
In 2015, Adam and the Scouts under his leadership donated the completed model to the landmark hotel. The masterpiece has benefited the entire town and has been viewed by thousands of hotel guests over the past two years.
Adam’s Eagle project took months of planning and building by the Scouts. It involved Adam and his fellow Scouts raising $1,400. Much like a bench at a city park or walkway at a memorial — two other examples of construction-based Eagle projects — Adam’s project benefits the entire community.
Altogether, their were eight Scouts involved with building the Strater Hotel model. Adam did very little actual building himself, instead leading his fellow Scouts in this detailed project.
As anyone who has led a group can attest, the process was at times frustrating but a great learning experience.
“It taught him a lot about leading a team in a complex building project,” Adam’s dad, Robert, says.
Here’s a photo of Adam with the complete project:
Why this was approved as a project
While visiting Durango in 2014 with his parents, Adam became fascinated with the architecture of the Strater and its history. He took a ton of pictures and talked to the hotel staff about its history.
The hotel is more 120 years old and has had many famous folks visit, including novelist Louis L’Amour, John Wayne and several Presidents.
Adam wanted the town of Durango to remember the Strater and allow it to enrich their understanding of the Old West — a time before smartphones and laptop computers. He spent time with Strater management and with his local BSA council to develop the concept.
After some deliberation, the council decided that it, indeed, met the criteria for an Eagle project. They said he could proceed as long as he oversaw the construction with a team of Scouts doing the actual construction.
It took more than four months to go from research/design to actual construction of the model. The eight-Scout team spent 40 hours constructing and consumed dozens of pizzas. The finished product was carefully transported by Jeep six hours over mountain passes to the town of Durango.
The local Durango newspaper wrote an article on the model, and Strater management has told Adam that thousands of visitors have experienced it over the past two years. The model sits in the hotel in an area open to the public — not just paying guests. It has allowed the hotel to educate many Durango residents on the rich history of the area.
Two years later, another Good Turn
Adam wasn’t done building there.
Last month, he unveiled his latest masterpiece: a scale model of the Antlers II Hotel in his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo. The completed piece uses more than 7,500 bricks and required almost a year of research, design and construction.
This time, Adam’s Lego project wasn’t meant to fulfill any service requirement. This time, it was just for fun.
The real Antlers II Hotel was demolished in 1964 to make way for the current Antlers Hotel, a Wyndham property in the heart of Colorado Springs.
Anyone born after 1964 never got to see the beautiful building, constructed in 1901 in the Italian Renaissance style.
Adam wanted to find a way to preserve this piece of history. He met with an archivist at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum to collect photos from every angle and to figure out which Lego pieces he’d need to create his scale rendering.
… and patience
Adam and his dad spent $2,000 on the necessary bricks. And as this fun story in the Colorado Springs Gazette outlines, Adam had to get creative to get everything just right.
He used the legs of Lego skeletons, turned backward, for balconies. Lego unicorn horns are the pointy tops of the building’s spires. And to get the roof to just the right hue, Moore used brown nail polish.
Adam took over the front parlor of his family’s home and got to work building the hotel. The roof turned out to be the trickiest part.
“I’ve had the roof collapse several times during the construction, and it really tested my patience,” he said.
Presenting his masterpiece
With every Lego in its place, Adam and his dad loaded the model into their Jeep. And so began the most nerve-wracking drive in Lego history.
Remember, Adam didn’t use any glue in his model. Everything is free-standing, meaning one pesky pothole could be catastrophic.
With the model sitting on a mattress for extra padding, Adam’s dad drove very slowly until they got to the hotel.
Once they arrived safely, they carefully carried the model — 4 feet wide, 2 feet long and 2 feet tall — into the hotel and placed it near the gift shop. That’s where it stands today.
Hotel General Manager Arron Duff told the Gazette that the model “has become part of the hotel. … I’m in love with it. It’s just a neat project and a good story.”
More about Adam
Adam, who just turned 18, was a member of Troop 223 of Colorado Springs, Colo., part of the Pikes Peak Council.
He earned Eagle at age 15 and is currently a freshman at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where he’s majoring in mechanical engineering.
He told the Gazette he’d love to work for Lego some day. You could say that his hotel models are quite the résumé-builder.
In the meantime, he’s considering creating a similar model of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo., as his next project.