Eastcliff in Miniature: The Dollhouse

The Eastcliff dollhouse is an awe-inspiring work of art.

Eastcliff was built in 1922 as the home of Edward and Markell Brooks. They raised their four children in the home. Around 1940 to 1942, Mrs. Brooks worked with miniaturist Elsa Mannheimer on reproductions of Eastcliff furnishings for a dollhouse.

From 2005 to 2010, Barbara Baer Braman Bentson worked with Brooks family members to re-create the recreation. A new structure was built and furnished with pieces from the original dollhouse as well as new pieces based on Brooks family furniture.

The tiny Venetian secretary is an example of the workmanship in pieces throughout the dollhouse. It is a faithful copy of a piece of furniture that the Brooks family displayed in Eastcliff, and is still owned by the family.

The exquisite details of the reproduction, by miniaturist James Hastrich, include hinged doors and a drop leaf writing surface, miniature drawer pulls on working drawers, and copies of the painted details on the original piece, including tiny portraits painted on the working drawers. miniature books fill the shelves. Some of the books in the dollhouse have individual pages that turn.

Barbara Bentson shared the full story of the Eastcliff dollhouse and all the miniature works of art. I put the descriptions and photos together into a book for her. Below are lower resolution files, an a pdf of the book that you may download.

Cover and dedication page
Helen Keller—as well as Binky, Barbara, Tracy, and Nancy

Helen Keller—as well as Binky, Barbara, Tracy, and Nancy

Helen Keller’s visit to Eastcliff is one of my favorite stories in Eastcliff:

Expansions to the Dining Room

Expansions to the Dining Room

A major Eastcliff remodel that was planned in 1967 and never built is included

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