By Andrea Cordle
Peggy Ginnings admits that she has an obsession – an obsession with miniatures.
Her miniature mania started nearly three decades ago, when Ginnings joined a miniature guild in Raleigh, N.C.
“It’s a passion,” said Ginnings. “I just get consumed.”
She makes miniature desks, chairs, tables, dolls, and even homes, which she furnishes.
Ginnings moved to Grove City to be closer to her daughter and she brought her passion with her. Now, her little hobby is helping the city.
Ginnings is a volunteer with the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. She and Jim Hale, chairman of the Grove City Historical Commission, were working at the museum and found a replica of the Little Theatre Off Broadway. According to Hale, members of the theater found the replica, originally done by Dave Gusa in the 1990s, in the old railroad depot. It had been in storage and was in bad shape.
Hale asked Ginnings to restore the model.
“I knew of her interest and talent with miniature items and was pleased that she accepted the challenge,” said Hale.
Ginnings said at first, she did not want to restore the piece. She liked to build from scratch and had not done a miniature restoration before.
However, Ginnings enjoys helping the museum and she agreed to take on the project.
Ginnings replaced the doors, windows and siding. She also added a tarp, folding ladder, lighting and benches, so those viewing the model could see improvements have been made at the real theater. Ginnings gave the piece a ceiling fan, flowers, bushes and even a cat and mouse playing hide and seek in front of the Broadway building.
“I wanted to make sure the original work was still there,” said Ginnings.
It took Ginnings approximately five months to restore the model.
“It was fun to do,” she said.
When it comes to her miniature work, Ginnings said she is a perfectionist. She is not finished with the piece until it is exactly right.
Hale said museum patrons will benefit from Ginning’s pickiness.
“Her restoration was far more extensive than expected and it is now a centerpiece at the museum,” said Hale.
The Grove City Welcome Center and Museum will keep the Little Theatre Off Broadway replica on display at 3378 Park St. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesday, the museum is open until 8 p.m. It is free, though donations are accepted.
Ginnings said it is important to recognize historic value and she believes the theater is a significant part of the Grove City community.
He said, “The theater has a long and proud history in the city and it is one of the oldest community theater groups in Ohio. Their audience draws not only from the local community, but has followers from throughout central Ohio and beyond.”
Ginnings, who is also a member of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society, plans to build a miniature replica of Century Village. That project will likely take more than three years.