, Salem, MA

Local News

March 18, 2013

A legacy in Legos

Salem man creates model of St. Joseph's


Length: 41/2 feet

Height: 3 feet

Cost: $2,000

With a little help from his two youngest daughters, it has taken Walker almost six months, working about an hour a day, to complete everything but the ceiling and roof.

He is building St. Joseph Church down to the minute details.

Just like the original, it is a cruciform church in the International Style with a large crucifix on the front, a three-tiered steeple, an altar with a chalice and candles, an organ in the balcony, parishioners in the pews, and statues of the Virgin Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus, both of which he found on eBay.

“You can put in a search,” Walker said.

The model will be unveiled Sunday, April 7, when St. James Church, the new home of many St. Joseph parishioners, opens a time capsule removed from the cornerstone.

Walker plans to strap the model to a table, carry it down the stairs of his apartment building with the help of a cousin and drive the short distance to St. James in his 2004 Honda Element.

Once the model is completely finished, which will be later this spring, Walker hopes it will go on display at both St. James and Ste. Anne, another Salem church with French origins.

He thinks, or at least hopes, he is building something special. Reaction so far has been positive.

“My wife posted a picture the other night (on Facebook),” he said. “One of the responses was from my aunt. She said when she saw it, she started crying.”

Although nothing can replace brick and mortar, Walker hopes his Lego model will keep the flame alive. St. Joseph’s, he said, is worth remembering.

“The church was a big part of the city skyline,” he said. “It’s a landmark.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at


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