New museum coming to Lakewood

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys will bring over 20,000 artifacts to the city


In 1927 Japan sent over 58 Japanese Friendship Dolls, including Miss Yokohama — Colorado’s Japanese Friendship Doll. The doll, constructed of wood, gofun (a traditional Japanese white chalky paint), human hair and glass eyes, is a physical representation of diplomatic history between Japan and the United States, according to History Colorado, an agency that is part of the Department of Higher Education.

Artifacts like Miss Yokohama from the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys will soon be on display in Lakewood.

The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, which features more than 20,000 artifacts, has been left without a home for nearly a year after it left its Denver location. But with an $800,000 purchase of a Lakewood facility, located at 830 Kipling St., the museum is hoping to reopen its doors again before the holidays.

“With the exposure here on Kipling and the growing arts community (in Lakewood) — it’s just a good fit for us. We’re excited to be in Lakewood and in a fabulous building,” said Barbara Pontarelli, the museum’s board president. “(The building) is going to be an asset, and it allows us to grow our collection.”

The museum was previously located at 1880 N. Gaylord St. in the Pearce-McAllitster Cottage near City Park in Denver. The property is a historic home owned by History Colorado.

Outside of Miss Yokohama, the museum’s collection includes artifacts from the 1800s, an extensive collection of toy soldiers, G.I. Joe action figures, the 8-bit Nintendo, Barbie dolls, antique dollhouses and other items. Wendy Littlepage, the museum’s director, said it plans to open in Lakewood in stages, hopefully before the holidays.

“We bring a lot of fun for multiple generations. (The museum) is an interesting way to learn about history,” said Littlepage.

The new building is double the size of its previous location and comes with better parking options for the museum’s guests and better ADA accommodations.

“(The museum has) a really nice history. I think Jeffco is very cultural,” said Pam Bales, president of the West Metro Chamber, which supports businesses across Jeffco. “It’s going to add to our arts and culture community, and it’s nice to have things in our own backyard.”


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