Kickstarter Campaign Aims to Bring Miniature World to Midtown

By Mathew Katz on May 22, 2014 2:40pm 

MIDTOWN — The Big Apple is about to become small.

A Kickstarter campaign wants to build a complex miniature world as a Lilliputian tourist attraction in Midtown.

Gulliver's Gate aims to become a 40,000 square foot indoor display made up of a tiny New York City, a pint-sized Aspen, and even a functioning mini-airport with flying planes.

The project's CEO, Eiran Gazit, hopes to raise $165,000 on the crowdfunding website, which with other investments will help build the miniature world. Gazit also founded Mini Israel, a similar 14-acre outdoor attraction just outside of Jerusalem. 

"New York is the focal point of the whole thing, it's the most dynamic city in the world," Gazit said. "Every building that will be depicted will be accurate."

Gazit already has some backers and is in talks for a space in Midtown, but hopes to show that people are interested in the concept by raising cash on Kickstarter.

The tiny New York at Gulliver's Gate won't just show off the surface, Gazit said, but will also show the city's subways, which will move around the "city" as guests watch.

Gulliver's Gate will also have a classroom where visitors can learn to build miniatures and models.

The spot will feature more than 300 scenes from around the world designed by the Hettema Group, which also designed the new Observation Deck at One World Trade Center. Walthers Model Railroading, the German miniature designer Faller and Brooklyn Model Works will also contribute designs.

"Since it's indoors, there's all sorts of things we can do that we couldn't outdoors," Gazit said. "We can make it rain or snow, make it night or day, we can create any kind of effect you can think of, that's what makes it so cool."

But Gazit also wants New Yorkers to be a part of it. Visitors to Gulliver's Gate will be able to enter a full-body scanner and create an accurate miniature of themselves that will live permanently in the tiny world. 

A $100 Kickstarter donation will let you become a "citizen" of Gulliver's Gate, complete with a photo of your miniature self to take home once the attraction opens.

Higher donations of $500 or more will net backers their own personalized miniature trains.

If all goes well with the Kickstarter campaign, Gazit said he expects the attraction to open by early 2016.

"It will be very unique — it's a whole world, right there," he said. 

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