Barbary Coast Saloon & Hotel

Barbary Coast Saloon & Hotel

— A San Francisco Gold Rush Era Bordello with High Stakes Gambling & General Store —


By far, my most ambitious project to date. I was visiting Smallsea: A Metropolis in Miniature museum in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA as they were closing their doors to retire. Diane and Howard Birnberg had created and collected an entire city worth of buildings, businesses, houses, carriages, automobiles, and over 2000 dolls! They were in the middle of cataloging their collection when I visited, each building and accompanying dolls and accessories were going to be sold in an enormous auction the next year. They held one piece back that would not be in the auction, but rather would be sold in a silent auction in their museum before they closed their doors. The piece was a large structure that housed a wine shop, hotel rooms, a tarot card reader, and a dance studio. I took one look at the piece, and I instantly knew what it would be if I owned it. I knew it was a San Francisco hotel during the Gold Rush era, with hotel rooms, a saloon, a general store, a Madam’s quarters, and a high-roller gambling room. With about two weeks left before the museum closed, I placed an opening bid on the structure, and waited to hear my fate. After two weeks, I received a call saying I was the only bidder, and the piece was mine. I could not have been happier! I have not begun renovations of the structure yet, I plan to strip the peeling wallpaper off, rewire the whole thing, redecorate and refurbish the whole structure. It opens on 3 sides, has 3 exterior entrances, internal staircases, and many doors. I will add more doors and windows, and a 3rd floor balcony in the Madam’s quarters. In the meantime, I have been collecting interior furnishings, accessories and lighting.


Dimensions: 29"W x 35"H x 22"D
Year Built: Unknown
Scale: 1:12
Electrified: Yes
Completed: 0% Complete
To-do List:
Remove existing wallpaper, trim, doors and windows. Remove lighting, rewire the structure and reinstall lighting.
install wallpaper, trim, paint and flooring. Add 3rd floor balcony to Madame's room, install French doors.
Install fireplaces or stoves in every room, wire for flicker unit. Install new interior doors, reinstall windows.
Paint and assemble hotel beds, add bedding. Paint the captain's chairs for the pub.
Fix exterior walls, add hinges to open sides. Paint and decorate the exterior of the building, add window details.
Install chandelier and domed stained glass ceiling in 3rd floor. Acquire and dress dolls as customers, clients and staff.
Add railings to the exterior of the structure on 2nd and 3rd floors.
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