Frequently Asked Questions about StrudelCity
Why do you do this?
Because it's fun, low-stress, and inexpensive to do.
How do you decide what buildings to make?
I look for buildings in New York City that are between 2-6 stories tall and somewhat architecturally interesting. I spend a lot of time consulting old fire insurance maps and historical preservation documents to get measurements when possible. If I can get blueprints, that's even better. It helps a lot when designing the buildings.
What do you use to design these?
I work in Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft PowerPoint, and sometimes just rough sketches on paper.
Where did you learn to make models?
I studied architecture in school but never pursued it as a career. Now I use my architecture skills to make replica buildings for our cat. As far as making the buildings goes, it's all stuff I taught myself through trial and error. I've improved my construction methods over the years as a result.
How big are the buildings?
The smallest ones are 8.5" wide. The sizes vary, but they are required to have a minimum depth of 7" and a maximum height of 33".
Have you thought about selling these?
People keep telling me I should, but they take a long time to build and I mainly do this to relax.
What materials do you use?
I used to use whatever cardboard boxes I had available, but the new buildings are made exclusively from boxes we get from our chewy.com orders. The structure itself is cardboard, the rest is construction paper and white glue. I use clear plastic transparency sheets for the windows.
Have you considered doing an Instructable or YouTube tutorial or something?
Eventually, yes, I will put together some sort of how-to guide. I'd love to see what other folks come up with!
What materials did you use for the 3-D looking trim/mouldings?
It's all cardboard and constuction paper. The really ornate trim is just drawn on, nothing fancy.
What happened to the older buildings?
Almost all of the older buildings have been either recycled or used as scrap to create new buildings. There are two of the older buildings in my office, serving as a makeshift shelf to hold paper.
Will there be a map for visitors?
Here is a map of the city (needs to be updated to reflect the latest addition).
Do you have any other buildings that aren't part of the city?
There is a large house for Strudel, and a replica of an abandoned railroad station for him downstairs.
Does your cat go in the buildings?
Yes! The buildings are open at both ends so he can pass all the way through them. He particularly enjoys hiding in the end by the stairs and attacking my unicorn slippers when I walk by.
Does your cat eat the box buildings?
No, he has plenty of regular food to eat.
Why is your cat named Strudel?
It's the name he came with when we adopted him in 2014. We call him Capt. Strudel McNoodles. You can learn more about him here.