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Check Out A Stunning, Hyper-Realistic Model Of Downtown Chicago In Minecraft

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 13, 2017 6:47PM

We're equal parts local architecture, technology and DIY evangelists here at Chicagoist, so you can imagine the squeals of delight that reverberated through the office when we discovered the uber-meticulous, lovingly crafted Minecraft re-creation of downtown Chicago.

The project, which was shared on Reddit on Saturday by user and game creator Ryan Zull, boasts one of the more impressive downtown replicas we've ever encountered, rendered in 1:2 scale for the classic sandbox video game.

Boasting detailed exterior models of iconic landmarks such as "The Bean," the Chicago Board of Trade, Jeanne Gang’s undulating Aqua Tower and many others, the album was completed by and large within the past year, although the project stretches back to July, 2013. "All the buildings were recreated using imagery and data from Google Maps, Emporis, Skyscraperpage and models available on the Sketchup 3D Warehouse," explained Zull.

The response has been "fantastic," Zull told Chicagoist via email—and even surprisingly emotional at times. "One person even told a heartfelt story about his friend who lived in a building on McClurg and how seeing the pictures of his friend's old building and the neighborhood around it brought back all the fun memories of going to different restaurants and parks and joking around with him," Zull said.

"I never expected to see this bring out the kind of emotions it did for people like him/her," he added. "It's been heartwarming, to say the least!"

Scroll through the gallery above for a sample; and the game is available to download and play here.