"Doctor Who" Fan Builds TARDIS-Inspired Free Library in Detroit

Courtesy of Dan Zemke
Courtesy of Dan Zemke / Courtesy of Dan Zemke

Just like the TARDIS from British TV show Doctor Who, books transport readers through time and space. So it’s fitting that a fan of the series constructed a free community library that looks like the Doctor’s fictional time machine/spacecraft.

As The Verge reports, Detroit resident Dan Zemke wanted to make use of an empty lot that sits across the street from his house. Inspired by his workplace, which runs a reading program that distributes free books to kids, Zemke—who had already planned on building a replica TARDIS—decided to turn the blue police telephone box into a mini-library for his neighborhood.

Zemke teamed up with his father and Tardis Builders, an online forum for hobbyist Dr. Who prop-makers, to construct his TARDIS library. "I thought this was going to be a weekend project at first, but it quickly ballooned into this massive, awesome adventure," Zemke told Mental Floss. "We spent just about every weekend working on the TARDIS since last Labor Day weekend."

The final product stands nearly 10 feet tall and weighs close to a ton. "When you open the doors of the TARDIS, it reveals a large mural [painted by local artist Jennifer Maiseloff] that shows the inside of the TARDIS from the TV show," Zemke explains. "It looks like the inside of a large spaceship, more or less. I wanted to give the person coming to the library a sense that they're looking inside the TARDIS. When you slide open the mural panels, it reveals a collection of books that anyone from the neighborhood can take or leave a book of their own."

Just in time for summer, Zemke’s TARDIS library is now open. If you live in Detroit, you can swing by the corner of Vermont Street and Warren West Avenue to browse its book selection.

"It's been awesome to see an empty lot in the city transform into a place where kids and families want to spend time," Zemke says. "I love that we're getting more books in the hands of our neighbors and the schools nearby. Plus, we get to see just how many Whovians are in Metro Detroit too!"

[h/t The Verge]