Best Museum - 2008
Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis
St. Louis, MO 63116
It's often said that St. Louis is a big small town — large enough to be considered a full-fledged city, but small enough that natives manage to run into old high school classmates on every trip to the grocery store. The concept of the "small town" takes on a more literal meaning at the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis. Located directly across Gravois from the Bevo Mill, the museum and gift shop houses a number of full-scale dollhouses, dioramas and even a model of Bevo Mill itself. The attention to detail is staggering — a scale model of St. Louis' Old Cathedral is accurate down to the pipe organ and pulpit. Walking through the storefront museum is like a small-scale history lesson: In the library a mini Harriet Beecher Stowe cradles a shrunk-down copy of her Uncle Tom's Cabin, while nearby diminutive figures of Martha Washington and Abigail Adams swap tales about the burden of being First Lady. If good things really do come in small packages, the Miniature Museum is a very, very good thing.