This huge fairy castle, a doll house made from 200 exacting components that can be packaged into shipping crates for touring, has been at the Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry since 1949. In 2014, the structure and its 1,500 miniature artifacts underwent a nine month restoration process. This time lapse video shares its reassembly.
Not only is the fairy castle a beloved part of the museum, but its history is a rich and unique one. From MSI Chicago:
This elaborate house full of hand-crafted miniatures and artifacts was completed by silent film star Colleen Moore in 1935, and came to live at MSI in 1949. The Fairy Castle has delighted generations with its tiny treasures and imaginative presentation, representing the contributions of celebrities, artisans and craftspeople around the world. These include a painting by Walt Disney himself; the tiniest bible ever to be written, dating back to 1840; and ancient statues more than 2,000 years old.
In February 2015, CBS Sunday Morning went behind-the-scenes at the museum, and spoke to Moore’s family to help tell her fairy castle’s story:
Watch a few silent films from Moore’s era of work, and see how other museums have worked to restore their artifacts: AMNH’s Building a True-to-Life Butterfly for a Habitat Diorama and How Do You Dismantle a Dino? (Very Carefully). Plus: More fairies.