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WATCH: Time-lapse video of Colleen Moore Fairy Castle reassembly at Museum of Science and Industry

It’s enchanted generations of museumgoers for nearly 70 years. And now, after a 9-month restoration/conservation project, the Colleen Moore Fairy Castle at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry has been meticulously revamped and reassembled and is back on full display.

Watch this 3-minute time-lapse video of the castle’s “rebirth”:

The story of the castle and the specially curated 9-month restoration process was also featured on “Sunday Morning” yesterday.

According to the “Sunday Morning” feature by CBS veteran reporter Rita Braver:

“And just like a full-sized house, restoring this one has cost a pretty penny — around $200,000. The castle’s running water and glowing lights, for example, have been replaced with a modern fiber optics system. But the restoration did provide a bonus. For the first time in decades, museum visitors got a chance to see some of the Castle’s treasures up-close.”

“It’s got 11 rooms, and each room is filled with murals, paintings on the walls and the ceilings of fantasy stories from childhood,” said Kathleen McCarthy, chief curator of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, “so it’s all sorts of creative stories to incite one’s imagination.”

The Chicago museum has been home to the castle since 1949, when it was donated by the woman who conceived of it, designed it, and poured her heart into it: Colleen Moore, one of Hollywood’s most successful silent film stars.

 

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Colleen Moore Fairy Castle undergoes conservation/restoration

So who was Colleen Moore? This video will shed some light on her life and career, and love of doll houses.

In a special exhibit area for much of 2014, visitors to the MSI could watch curators work on the the castle’s various rooms, lighting and plumbing systems, while tiny furniture and furnishings were displayed in cases for an unprecedented up-close look at the accoutrements.

Conservator Inez Litas works on restoring exterior paint on Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry on Wednesday, November 21, 2013.  Conservators are restoring the castle that became a permanent exhibit when it was donated to the museum in 1949.   | Michael Jarecki/For Sun-Times Media

Conservator Inez Litas works on restoring exterior paint on Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in November 2013. | Michael Jarecki/For the Sun-Times 

Miniature sculptures and furniture sit in a glass case on display from Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry on Wednesday, November 21, 2013.  Conservators are restoring the castle that became a permanent exhibit when it was donated to the museum in 1949.   | Michael Jarecki/For Sun-Times Media

Miniature sculptures and furniture sit in a glass case on display from Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle exhibit. | Michael Jarecki/For the Sun-Times

The Princess' Bedroom in Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle.  | J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry

The Princess’ Bedroom in Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle. | J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry

A side view of Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle. | J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry

A side view of Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle. | J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry