Toothpick City at MOST in Syracuse, NY

The kids and I made the trip out to Syracuse, and stopped in at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST). We encountered a surprise treat at the museum: Stan Munro’s Toothpick City II. Wow! We walked in to the main arena to see a vast display of the most incredible works of art I’ve seen! All done with toothpicks and Elmer’s glue!

Toothpick City 2

Toothpick City at MOST

The Leaning Tower of Pisa. I love this one most of all.

Pisa toothpick

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

Blue Mosque toothpicks

And London Tower Bridge!

London Tower toothpicks

The platform is about 25′ by 30′, and the toothpick structures are all built to a 1:164 scale. Some of the toothpicks towers and temples are over 16 feet high. Others are under a foot high. Since the towers and temples are all built in proportion to each other, seeing them all next to each other is stunning. And Stan has done an incredible job, with amazing attention to detail.

This is a closeup of the Aspire Tower of Qatar. It’s huge!

Aspire Tower toothpicks

Stan on the platform

Stan was working on more structures at the MOST while we ooo’ed and ahh’ed. So we got a chance to talk to him and ask him how he got started on this project. I found out he is a wacky radio guy! I used to be one, too! (Well, I was a wacky radio girl– I had my own morning show on a small station in the Southern Tier, near Binghamton, NY). Stan said he was in-between jobs, working on his toothpicking hobby, when he was asked to display some of his work. The reception was enthusiastic, and demand became so high that Stan was soon earning a living, doing what he loves!

Stan Munro

Stan has a website,, which is really fun to peruse. It has a great gallery of his work (including structures he built for Toothpick City I, permanently on display in Spain), and a humorous biography:

When Stan Munro started Toothpick City I in 2003, he convinced his wife that this might be an actual job. Whether she really believed him, or just reveled at the thought of a husband spending all his time in the basement, she supported him. She helped him in every way imaginable, and when Toothpick City sold in 2005, she helped him spend the money.

Here are more photos I took. Perhaps some of you will recognize the structures.

Wat Arun toothpicks

Todaiji toothpicks

Notre Dame toothpicks

Notre Dame close

La Seu Cathedral toothpicks

Mexico temple toothpicks

Emanu-El toothpicks

St Peters toothpicks

St Peters closeup toothpicks

Grand Mosque Mecca Toothpicks

You can see many more photos at Stan’s Gallery at the website. He’s done most of the world’s skyscrapers, too, including the Chrysler Building, Pyramid at Giza, the Petronas Towers, the Sydney Opera House, Taipei 101, the Taj Mahal, and more. Really amazing!

Plus, Stan gave me his business card. How cool is that?!

Stan BizCard

If you are interested in giving Stan some suggestions for future projects he can do, he’s happy to take them. We suggested the Pantheon of Rome, and he said he has just started work on it!

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (10)

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  1. Lynne says:

    Oh my! I can’t imagine ever having the patience to build anything out of toothpicks! No wonder that guys has such a crazed look on his face in that photo!

  2. blueyes says:

    holy shnikeys! that had to have been painstakingly long to build not too mention I probably would have demolished it early on from being so frustrated.

    • Lynne– lol! His crazy look comes from all those hours spent inside crazy radio stations doing crazy radio shows! hahah!

      Blueyes, SAME HERE! I am such a clutz, I would have tripped over the stuff. It takes a steady hand and some good balance!

  3. Spike Herzig says:

    Great story, I look forward to visiting. We are presently building tour packages for the upcoming Cezanne exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse and will include the MOST in the package because of your story. Thanks, Spike

  4. That is absolutely insane, I only wonder who could ever find time to make such an extravagent project, wow just wow.

    I’d love to try something like this, lots of respect to the creators patience levels lol.

    I like the dubai part best!

  5. Patience is definetly a virtue!! Great post!! So very interesting!

  6. Dankoozy says:

    Freaking amazing!

  7. VioletSky says:

    Did you ask him where on earth he gets so many millions of toothpicks?? he must have very good eyesight, too.

  8. wow. Simply no words to describe this. How can people be so much creativie man ?

    Thanks for uploading. This is simply amazing.