Big names: An architect was even hired for Fairy Castle and Walt Disney himself painted the house's ornate murals and tiny paintings
By Daily Mail Reporter
Silent film star Colleen Moore had a lifelong obsession with dollhouses and spent what would be around $7 million in today’s dollars to build the Fairy Castle—an 8-foot, jewel encrusted little girl’s dream.
As one of the most popular actresses of her day, the star of 1934’s The Scarlet Letter had the resources to enlist top talent to produce her miniature dream home.
The doll house even had an actual architect, who said ‘the architecture must have no sense of reality. We must invent a structure that is everybody's conception of an enchanted castle.’
Welcome: An ornate courtyard welcomes tiny imaginary visitors into Fairy Caste--the '$7 million' dream doll house commissioned by silent film star Colleen Moore
Breaking ground: Moore's vision first began to bear fruit when construction began on Fairy Castle in 1928
Precious gem: Fairy Castle drips with jewels. The house's many chandeliers are fashioned with diamonds, emeralds, and pearls
The end result was Fairy Castle, a doll house full of chandeliers dripping with diamonds, emeralds, and pearls, murals courtesy of Walt Disney himself, and 2,000 miniatures throughout its expansive floor plan--including the smallest bible ever written.
Work on Fairy Castle began in 1928. By 1935, some 100 designers and artists had worked on the house.
When the doll house was completed, America was finally struggling out of the Great Depression and Moore put her castle to a philanthropic use.
She organized a national tour which showcased Fairy Castle in major cities across the country .
Ornate: Thousands of individual miniatures are placed throughout the 8-foot doll palace
Pricey: Real wood floors and actual tapestries adorn Fairy Castle's enchanting dining hall. The doll house cost $500,000 to build in the late 1920s and early 1930s -- in today's dollars, that's about $7 million
Ads for the tour in Chicago described Fairy Castle thusly: ‘A museum in itself—it awaits you—starting November 15th in our Eighth Floor Toyland. You will want to see it again and again.’
In the end, the tour raised $650,000 between 1935 and 1939, which was donated to children struggling with poverty.
In 1949, Moore was convinced to part with her dream house for good and put it on permanent public display.
It’s new home became Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, where it resides to this day behind glass.
Millions have gazed into the tiny, enchanting home and will continue to for years to come.
Good cause: The miniature world was inspired by Moore's lifetime obsession with doll houses. When it was completed in 1935, Moore sent Fairy Castle on a national tour to raise money for children left destitute by the Great Depression
Group effort: By the time it was complete, some 100 artists and designers had lent a hand to Fairy Castle
New home: Moore gave up her beloved Fairy Castle in 1949 so that it could go on public display. It now resides permanently at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry
Celluloid star: Built in 1928, the Fairy Castle was the property of the famous silent movie actress Colleen Moore (pictured crouching in its courtyard)