Visit the House of Broel, New Orleans’ life-sized Victorian dollhouse
What do frog legs and dollhouses have in common? The House of Broel!
New Orleans is no stranger to amazing old houses, in fact ,they’re known for having some of the most beautiful (and gigantic) historical mansions in the entire country. The city’s famous Garden District is where you’ll find the House of Broel, home of the Dollhouse Museum, an exhibit dedicated to frog leg farming and more antiques than you can shake a stick at.
Owned by countess and ordained minister Bonnie Broel, the classical Southern mansion was restored to antebellum state, and is often described as a giant life-sized dollhouse of its own.
“The original two story Antebellum home was built in the 1850’s by George Washington Squires. In 1884 the home was lifted by William Renaud, who added a magnificent first floor especially designed for family weddings and parties. The house is an outstanding example of high Victorian architecture and woodwork with a center hall that showcases an original mirror embellished with an intricate border of tobacco leaves. The Mystic ballroom features ornate chandeliers and original black marble fireplaces and is still the site of many lavish weddings and parties.” - House of Broel
One of the biggest reasons people love to visit the House of Broel has to do with a massive private collection of dollhouses kept on the second floor. Often refered to as the Dollhouse Museum, the exhibit contains over 60 painstakingly handmade homes, complete with furnishings and tiny people. The crown jewel is a 10 foot-tall palace, containg 28 impeccably decorated rooms.
Another strange exhibit you’ll find on the second floor of the mansion is an installation dedicated to frog farming. The Broel family was deeply involved in the state frog farming industry, and to this day the exhibit still contains vintage frog legs in a can, among other related froggy antiques.
The historic house is often used for the backdrop of lavash weddings, but if you’re going to be in New Orleans this road trip season you can also book a tour of the house, gardens, and of course the second floor Dollhouse Museum. You’ll feel like you went back in time, and stepped right into a life-sized dollhouse!
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