Effervescent silent screen actress Colleen Moore, star of Flaming Youth ( 1923 ) and The Perfect Flapper ( 1924 ), had a lifelong love for dollhouses and miniatures which led her to create the "Fairy Castle".
Based on a design by her father and painstakingly built by more than one hundred talented craftsmen over a course of seven years, this awe-inspiring work of art features eight grand rooms, a courtyard garden, and over 1,500 miniature objects collected from around the world!
Standing at nearly seven feet tall and weighing in at one ton, this aluminum abode cost nearly $500,000 to construct and has some 200 interlocking pieces so as to allow easy assembly. Within its walls, you'll find a small painting by Walt Disney of Mickey & Minnie Mouse on the walls of the immense Gothic hall; an intricately decorated 6" long piano in the music room; a library showcasing sixty-five tiny books signed by some of the 20th century's most esteemed dignitaries and scientists; a chapel with working pipe organ (!); the Prince and Princess's bedrooms; a charming kitchen; and King Arthur's Dining Hall complete with its own Round Table!
When the castle was completed in 1935, Miss Moore deemed it a 'gift to the children of the world' and took it on a national tour to benefit children with disabilities. The highly-popular tour brought a smile to thousands of American children, raising over half a million dollars for charity and it became the beginning of Miss Moore's philanthropic efforts which she selflessly pursued until her death in 1988.
This mini edifice extraordinaire continues to delight visitors at its home in the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago, Illinois. You can read more about the "Fairy Castle" and see close-up photos of it in "Colleen Moore's Dollhouse" ( 1979 ) by Colleen Moore, Stephanie Finnegan's "The Dollhouse Book" ( 1999 ) and at www.msichicago.org.
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