The house was in his basement and it was indeed the dollhouse from Gretchen's kitchen: a substantial mock-Tudor suburban house that replicated Gretchen's childhood home in Pittsburgh and still populated by the miniature mouse family Gretchen had dressed herself.Although her family did not know who built it, I eventually recalled it had been constructed by Joen Ellen Kanze of White Plains, NY.Mrs Kanze built one-of-a-kind dollhouses and because she was a good friend of Molly Brody's, she always got the booth right inside the doors at Molly's semi-annual miniatures show in Darien. Kanze was cheerful woman with a good sense of humor and she made the house to Gretchen's specifications.
All the acetate windows and the lace curtains were brown from exposure to smoke.I never took a photo of the house as it was originally furnished because so many things were damaged and so dirty I wasn't comfortable handling them, so I never set them up, but I do have old photos of how it looked with Gretchen's furnishings.It took me the better part of a week to clean the interior and the furnishings that could be saved.The ground floor masonry was molded from plaster and then painted while the upper floors feature applied half-timbering and textured paint that started out as white and had turned yellow over time.
The interior is as interesting and richly detailed as the exterior.
In an eerie coincidence, the day it became mine was both my wedding anniversary, the also the anniversary of Gretchen's death five years earlier, so the day was colored by some emotion on both sides.