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Moving Twin Manors after 25 years

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Wm. R. Robertson

I think somewhere in the test phase of the forum this post must have been deleted by accident.


Back in the 1980's I built a pair of Georgian style miniature houses known as Twin Manors, one has been displayed at the Toy & Miniature Museum in Kansas City for the last 25 years. The museum is going through a major change and will reopen next year as the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. This change invokes some major construction to the building and therefor everything had to be removed. One of those things was Twin Manors.


This was built in a basement workshop outside Washington, DC and had to come apart to get out the door. It comes apart somewhat like a Chinese jigsaw puzzle and despite the best intentions both copies of the video made that showed how to do it are lost. So using my best memory I started and luckily it all came back to me. The only problem was a number of the screws were put in place by a nibble 20 something year old were very hard to reach by that same person nearing 60…… Who could still cuss out the youngin wondering what was he thinking?


At the start with the case removed, BTW, the front and back rasie and lower like power windows on a car.




Once the roof was off you can see the construction, a metal frame holding the rooms allowing for expansion and contraction to keep the house from cracking. Also allows for access to the wiring.




A cradle had to made to lift the house due to weight and there is not a good place to grab on to it.




One of the rare treats is this view of the back door, the front and back are displayed in the down position so this has not been seen in 25 years.



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Amazing to think that a 20 something could build something so complex and detailed.  My early builds at 40 something are all being rebuilt because I've learned so much since I first started, mostly by trial and error.  I am saving some of the good parts to be re-used.

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Wm. R. Robertson

Thank you for your nice comments, I'll try to answer some of the questions,

I too have learned a lot since I built this however I'm in no rush to ever build another whole miniature house.

As for the expansion idea, this came about while I was at Flora Gill Jacob's Washington Dolls' House Museum looking at all the antique houses and how they had aged. Most had cracks in the walls since they were made of wide boards and I wanted to make sure my house didn't crack, so far it hasn't.

Should you be trying to check things off your bucket list anytime soon be aware the one in Kansas City is in storage for a year while the museum is being worked on. There is a possibility it's twin can be seen privately in Western Pennsylvania.

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