A tower of blocks is usually an ephemeral thing; most piles beyond a foot or two quickly succumb to gravity. But the edifices built by architect Adam Reed Tucker, one of the world’s 11 LEGO® Certified Professionals, are another story. 

The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., is hosting an exhibit of skyscrapers and other landmark buildings, painstakingly rendered by Tucker in Danish plastic. “LEGO®Architecture: Towering Ambition” offers the pleasing spectacle of one commercial art form paying homage to another. The Empire State Building sits cheek-by-jowl with the Burj Khalifa, and the small models bring to mind the audacity of building a skyscraper—more poignantly, somehow, than the originals.

Any primitive tower-smashing impulses that remain after taking in the beauty of Lego Fallingwater or St. Louis Gateway Arch can be indulged in the adjacent play room, where parents use their children as an excuse to make masterpieces of their own. The exhibit runs through September 2. —Katherine Mangu-Ward