House of Broel – New Orleans, Louisiana - Atlas Obscura
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New Orleans, Louisiana

House of Broel

An impressive collection of dollhouses and an homage to the frog-leg canning industry. 

What do weddings, dollhouses and frog legs have in common? They’re all part of a typical day’s work for Bonnie Broel - Polish Countess, ordained minister, and curator of the Dollhouse Museum in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Victorian mansion seems almost like a true-life dollhouse itself with its quintessential Garden District charm and the architectural flavor of the romanticized old south. Restored to its antebellum state, the first floor of the mansion is a favorite for weddings and other intimate ceremonies.

The second floor, given the apt moniker “The Dollhouse Museum,” houses Broel’s private collection of miniature houses. But these dollhouses are no child’s play. The museum boasts 60 models, all historically accurate and remarkably detailed. The 10 ft tall Russian Palace is its crowning monument, with over 28 built-to-scale rooms complete with all the royal furnishings and embellishments. The second floor also holds an exhibit dedicated to frog farming – an industry that Broel’s father became deeply involved with after his creation of the Louisiana Frog Farm. The exhibit has vintage cans of frog legs on display, among other frog-themed items.