The miniature museum of Saint-Louis presents tiny exhibits

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“The people of St. Louis are sorely missed if they haven’t been here.”

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis area is full of sights to see and places to visit, and some of them are hiding in plain sight. The Grand Saint-Louis Miniature Museum can be one of those places.

People often discover the museum by searching for “unusual things to do in St. Louis, Missouri.”

“The unusual can be unique,” said Meg Dietrich, a member of the museum’s board of trustees.

The museum is on Gravois Avenue and sits in the shadow of Das Bevo. The large windmill is the opposite of the tiny rooms in the museum.

“It’s an inch for a foot. So we call it the 1/12th size,” Dietrich said when explaining the size of the objects.

The small parts of the various displays are exact replicas of their counterparts and most are carefully measured.

“Some artisans are very precise. They take action with these tiny little calibers,” she added.

Some of the parts inside the different dollhouses are functional.

“There’s a birthday cake with the candles on the cake lit when you turn on the lights,” she said.

The miniature houses are assembled and furnished as if a real human would live there.

“Like they’re decorating a real house,” Dietrich told 5 On Your Side.

Dollhouses are toys in children’s hands. But adult collectors and artists use them more to create.

“Amazing what big fat fingers can accomplish on a small scale,” Dietrich said.

Dietrich began to appreciate miniatures from childhood and grew to appreciate them.

“I learned to appreciate the little things, to take care of the little things, to treat them like treasures,” she said.

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Dietrich is not paid as a museum board member. She and the others are all volunteers. But they are proud to be the guardians of the collections.

Dietrich enjoys learning about the different people who donate their collections to the museum.

“Tells a lot about the person, to see what they thought was important in their miniature collection,” she said.

Some of the items they receive are fragile.

“There is a certain delicacy,” she says.

But if pieces break, Dietrich said they simply glue them back together.

There is a seemingly endless number of objects in the museum imitating scenes from everyday life.

“We have many exhibits. There are at least 1,000 all the time visible to see,” Dietrich said.

She encourages everyone to come and have a look.

“St. Louis people are sorely missed if they haven’t been here,” she said.

She thinks it’s one of the best kept secrets in town.

“We have a museum unlike any other museum,” she said.

If you want to know more about the museum, visit its website.

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