KNEISEL COLLECTION: Initial Museum Donation

The MUSEUM OF ARCHITECTURE at TDCP Changa Manga Resort, Punjab, Pakistan is the first recipient of souvenir buildings from the Kneisel Collection.

A portion of the Cultural Foundation of Pakistan powerpoint presentation.

In June of 2016, Robert Kneisel willed his collection of some 4000 plus souvenir buildings and statues to the Souvenir Building Collectors Society. The SBCS formed a Kneisel Collection Team spearheaded by Chris S. to address the disposition of such a magnificent gift. The team quickly determined that the bulk of the quality buildings could form the basis of a permanent display of souvenir buildings in one or more museums. Planning toward this end began in August of 2016.

Serendipitously, in March of 2017, the Society was approached, through the SBCSociety website, by Muhammad Raza Kahn, President of the Cultural Foundation of Pakistan. He told of the establishment of a Museum of Architecture and requested, from the Souvenir Building Collectors Society, the donation of architectural models of world landmarks for a display to be entitled “EXPLORE CULTURE THROUGH ARCHITECTURE.

Joe K. and Chris S. took the lead in contacting and working with Mr. Kahn, who provided the Kneisel Collection Team with a powerpoint presentation detailing the plans for the Museum of Architecture and how it our small buildings would become part of the larger exhibit.  Click below to view the presentation (remember to hit the arrow to make it run):

The team confirmed the suitablility of the request and selected an array of iconic world miniature buildings as the donation. The selected items made their way from Los Angeles, through Canada, and on to Pakistan, where they arrived in September 2017. They will be displayed at the ModelTown Museum in Lahore, Pakistan.


While this story is about the donation to the Museum of Architecture in Pakistan, it is also a reminder that SBCS is looking for other museums or appropriate institutions (library, university or college, city hall) who are interested in permanently acquiring souvenir buildings for display.  If you have a suggestion or two – Send the Kneisel Collection Committee an email.


ABC …. Challenge on Facebook

Newly installed SBCS President Carolyn Curtiss recently issued a challenge to the friends of the Souvenir Building Collectors Society Facebook page: “Let’s have some fun. Buildings alphabetically. Here’s my A from my collection. Aschaffenburg Germany Bank.  Tomorrow I’ll post a B. Anybody else have an A or B?”

So……. while waiting for the next SBCSociety website post – lots of convention pictures, head on over to the SBCS on Facebook  and check out the growing number of alphabetically posted pictures from numerous contributors.

Here is a sample:


Why not join the fun and add your own photos.  Let’s see the variety of souvenir buildings that can  get us all the way through the alphabet to Z, or if you prefer – Zed.

CHICAGO 2017: It is in The Bag!

Convention Goodie Bag with brochures, maps, and schedule. 2017 Convention Building Souvenir: Wrigley Building Bank

Memories of: Architecture, Friends, FLW, the Bean, Museums, the River, Shopping, Swapping, and lots of Little Buildings! They’ve all been packed up and are headed for home ……………….

Kudos to Mark and Michael for a well-executed Convention with lots of options, camaraderie, and plenty of opportunities for acquisition of small buildings.  As plans for the next conventions crystallize they will be conveyed via The Journal of the Souvenir Building Collectors Society and this website.  

CHICAGO 2017: Countdown and Parking!

SBCS members from across the land and around the world are packing, planning, and heading to Chicago. By car, van, SUV… by planes small and large, it is the Gathering of the Clan.

***********WE ARE ON OUR WAY! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Governor of Illinois and the Mayor of the Windy City had a joint press conference this morning , and their message was simple. “Citizens of Chicago, bring out your little buildings and monuments, the SBCS is coming to town!” ………..OK, maybe I’m making that up. I might be a little excited!

Michael and I have been finalizing… emailing, writing, phoning, initialing, signing, printing, photocopying. Checking our lists. Making new lists.

In less than a week we will all come together to celebrate our obsessions.
How great is that?

When you get there…

Look for the SBCS signage after you check in.
Come and see us at Registration – Pick up your Convention Package.


Have breakfast every morning in the lobby.
Enjoy coffee with the gang! Buy Raffle tickets.

Thursday night – Early Bird pizza night!

Friday morning – Frank Lloyd Wright time. An early morning bus tour.

Friday night – Reception at the hotel.
Schmoozing, socializing, Show & Tell. Buy Raffle tickets.

Saturday – Early morning Architectural River Cruise. Buy Raffle tickets.
Then it’s…the Business meeting, then the SWAP MEET!

Buy more Raffle tickets.

Saturday nightBanquetAuctionRaffle (Did I mention the tickets?)

Sunday morning – A walking tour in the Loop.
And don’t forget the Randolph St. Antique Market.

SEE YOU IN CHICAGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But where do we Park?

In less than 100 hours – very early on Wednesday morning – two cars will pull out on the road – one from Nashville and one from Toronto. Both cars will head towards Chicago, Illinois. Other cars from other places are heading there as we speak. And what happens when we all reach Chicago? Where will we park?

Parking in Chicago is a thing.

At the Homewood Suites, Valet Parking with In & Out privileges is $59 a night. That’s somewhere between the best deal in town and Ouch!!

Next door to the Hotel, at the Grand Plaza parking lot, it’s $45 for 24 hours, with no In & Out.

Then there are crowd-sourced APP’s that you can download – like SpotHero and ParkWhiz.
They will tell you where you can park and for how much. It won’t be at the hotel, and probably nowhere near the hotel, but it will be cheaper.
Cab or Uber it back to the hotel.

Keep Smiling – Use transit
Have a great Convention!
Michael Emrick & Mark Fine

CHICAGO: MY (SBCS) KIND OF TOWN: Buildings, Buildings, Buildings!

We hope you are singing along with Frank, who also wrote the lyrics to MY KIND OF TOWN (CHICAGO IS)

“ Chicago is Tuggin’ my sleeve / Chicago is / The Wrigley building / Chicago is / The union stockyard / Chicago is / One town that won’t let you down / It’s my kind of town”


We are getting so close to SBCS 2017 Chicago convention. Michael and I are in high gear. We’re printing and packing and checking our lists. The tours have filled up, the schedule is being finalized. Little buildings are being wrapped and put into boxes.  Which ones will you bring?  Which ones will you take home?  Here are three buildings from the Kneisel Collection that some lucky person will take home.

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Members will begin arriving on Wednesday. We’re in the Wednesday group! We’ll look for the rest of you at breakfast on Thursday.

Don’t forget that on Thursday Michael is organizing a Chicago Pizza night in the neighborhood. He’s going to pick a spot, reserve some space, and drag you early birds out for dinner.

Also on Thursday: Carol Detweiler and Joe Kopitz are planning to go to the Palmer House in the  afternoon for the “History is Hot” lecture and tour and you’re all invited to join in. Reach out to Carol or Joe for more information.

Business Meeting!

Every year at the Convention we have a Business Meeting where we talk about and decide upon policies and actions that affect SBCS. One of the things we do at these meetings is to choose the next year’s President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Chair, and Newsletter Chair. Sometimes the members filling these volunteer positions offer to stand for another term, or other members are elected (or drafted) to fill these positions.

Joe Kopitz, SBCS President

Joe Kopitz, President of SBCS for the last five years has notified the Executive Committee that he will not be seeking re-election this year. On behalf of all of the members of SBCS, Michael and I want to offer our thanks for the great job Joe has done.

Lets all give Joe a Thumbs Up for the great job he’s done.

This means that this year’s business meeting will be more important than ever. We will be picking the next president of SBCS. On behalf of the Committee we ask you to consider running or nominating someone for this or any of the other  Executive positions. Please give this some thought between now and Chicago!

Get there early and grab your seats!


Bus Tour – Boat Tour – Food – Fun – Buildings – Swap Meet – Auction – Raffle
More Buildings – Prizes – Contests – Shopping – Swapping – Surprises
And don’t forget to dress in your favorite “Building” clothing and Accessories.

Can’t wait to see you in Chicago…
Your 2017 Hosts – Michael Emrick & Mark Fine


“Say, you’ll have the time / The time of your life / Bring all your friends / Your kids and your wife to / Chicago, Chicago” (lyrics from CHICAGO by Fred Fisher)

2017 SBCS Convention City – Chicago

Well folks. The days are getting shorter and so is your opportunity to attend the 2017 SBCS Convention. Click here for registration and hotel information.

Take a look at the upcoming SBCS 2017 Chicago Convention

There will be TOURS…
– An amazing Frank Lloyd Wright coach tour Friday morning.
– An Architectural Cruise up the Chicago River Saturday morning
A walking tour in The Loop Sunday morning

There will be SOCIALIZING…
– Breakfast every morning
– Pizza night in the neighborhood Thursday evening
– Reception Friday evening
– Business meeting Saturday
Banquet Saturday night

There will be BUILDINGS
– Swap Meet Saturday… Ten Tables plus the Bob Kneisel Table
– Auction Saturday night… Will be amazing!
– Raffle Saturday night… Buy tickets – Win Buildings
– Your 2017 Souvenir Building – Yes, you guessed it – A Chicago building!
– Randolph Street Market Saturday & Sunday… a special surprise awaits us.
And the long list of Antique Markets and Stores in Chicagoland
Michael and I have heard from many of you. The excitement is palpable.

We hope you have the very best time at SBCS CHICAGO 2017!!
Bring your cameras – Take lots of Pictures

Michael Emrick and Mark Fine
Your 2017 Chicago Hosts

CHICAGO 2017: You can “Bank on It!”, August 25 – 27

2nd Ward Savings Bank, Chicago, IL (Rehberger)

Souvenir Building Collectors’ collections focus on souvenir or miniature buildings. However, many of these small treasures are also utilitarian – banks, bookends, tape measures, ink wells, paper weights, salt and pepper shakers – therefore the SBCSociety has a number of cross-collecting members.

On Saturday, August 26, during the 2017 SBCS Convention at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown, many different varieties of souvenir building will be up for sale through the SWAP MEET or AUCTION or RAFFLE.

These are some of the banks from the Kneisel Collection that will be available in the various venues.