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Keeping Home in Your Living Room

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – Over the last 25 years, Kathy Noble Smith has been recreating the house she grew up in here in Cedar Rapids.

“There were lots of kids and we played outside,” said Smith, whose parents left their Cedar Rapids address in 1989. “The whole yard was filled with Barbies occasionally and Barbie houses.”

Now, it occasionally hosts just one house. It’s a model. Of itself.

The house is built on a half-inch-to-one-foot scale. So a loaf of bread that would a little more than a crumb inside the model.

The process started when Smith’s parents began to consider selling the home.

“I thought it would be a neat way to remember it. I also build doll houses so it was just a step away from that,” said Smith.

Smith’s model is so close to the original that her sisters can take a walk down memory lane with just a peek in the window.

“I love watching them look in and say, ‘Oh! It looks just like it did!’ It’s really fun to watch other people enjoy it,” said Smith.

Now, Smith’s smaller childhood home sits on a window seat in her Coralville living room. It’s wired for electricity so at night, she lights the house up and remembers.

“We had a lot of happy memories on the porch,” said Smith. “We used to call them ‘Porchie Suppers’ and we would have supper on the porch whenever the weather would allow.”

Big memories preserved in half inch scale.

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