CHICAGO 2017 PHOTOS: Rare Souvenir Buildings and More ……..

The stories are swell at a SBCS Convention “Show and Tell.”

Original Irish Hill Tower and Gray Tower, Lenawee County, MI. Souvenir Buildings / Salt and Pepper Shakers.

Bill H. and Michael E. brought the tale and the evidence of the IRISH HILLS TOWERS saga.  Apparently in the 1920s a farmer,  who owned part of a hill that the Michigan Observation Company (MOC) sought to purchase for a tourist-based observation tower, refused to sell his portion.  Whereupon, the enterprising company purchased the adjoining piece of land and built the IRISH HILLS OBSERVATORY and opened it to the public in September of 1924, to great success.   By November of the same year (just 2 months later), the envious nay-sayer had built his own tower adjacent to the first and made it a bit higher to attract the tourists to his site.  Reacting to challenge the Michigan Observation Company added a second observation platform atop the first and called their tower the ORIGINAL IRISH HILLS TOWER.  The farmer then evened the height of his tower with the “Original” and named his tower the “Gray” tower.  MOC then countered with the threat of tearing down their tower and erecting a metal edifice so large that the challenge would be over.  From then until the 1950s the towers were competing attractions.  In the 1950s they were operated as one attraction with a gift shop between.   As of today, they are on the US National Register of Historic Places.  Bill’s and Michael’s Salt and Pepper Shakers depict the Original Irish Hills Tower and the Gray Tower.

Sofitel Hotel (a former City Hall), Amsterdam; Dordrecht City Hall, Netherlands.

From the KLM and Goedewaagen collection of Simon H. comes a pair of rare Goedewaagen porcelain buildings.  The building on the left is the Sofitel Legend Grand Amsterdam Hotel, the site and building has a long and storied history, prior to it’s re-incarnation as a hotel.  The building on the left is the City of Hall of Dordrecht.

 

Steve B. and Terry M. went building hunting with Joe K. at the start of the weekend in Chicago.  To the delight of all, the finds were special and the swapping even better.  Terry found the very nice St. Peter’s Basilica in the same mall that Joe found the University Hall and a mutually-agreed-upon swap was executed.

McPherson Opera House souvenir building and as pictured in a iPhone photograph.

Steve also shared his acquisition of the McPherson Opera House and the photo he had taken of the actual building.

There are lots of convention photos to be seen in the Members Only portion of the website.  Head on over to MEMBERS ONLY / CONVENTION PHOTOS and click one of more of the links under 2017.

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: 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.

SBCS Chicago 2017: Places to Go, Sights to See!

Peripatic traveller and souvenir building enthusiast, David Savanyu, reminds us that there are lots of interesting things to see and do around Chicago this August. Filling the days surrounding the SBCS Convention is easy.  Given the various Frank Lloyd Wright special exhibits (150th Birthday anniversary) around the country this year those exhibits near Chicago for this mighty midwesterner are appealing.  The SBCS Convention has a scheduled 4-hour Frank Lloyd Wright tour visiting sites in Illinois from downtown Chicago to Oak Park.  David also recommends sites in  the neighboring state of Wisconsin, all within driving distance and some with free reservations.

Johnson Wax Building and Wingspread, Racine, WI

Taliesin East, Spring Green, WI

Monona Terrace, Madison, WI

SBCS Member paying homage to Frank Lloyd Wright statue at Florida Southern College. Lakeland, FL. 2015.

David also suggests visiting Farnsworth House  (Mies van der Rohe, German/American architect), in Plano, IL

If you collect miniature buildings – not for the architects – but for what they hold or represent – here are some other sites to check out during your Chicago visit as represented by  Kneisel Collection pieces that will be available at the Convention – Shop & Swap, Raffle, or Auction.

 

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Field Museum Souvenir Building

Field Museum (marvelous ethnographic collections)

 

Museum of Science and Industry Souvenir Building

Museum of Science and Industry (Robots are in this summer)

 

Shedd Aquarium Souvenir Building

Shedd Aquarium (Jazz program or Amphibian Exhibit)

 

Adler Planetarium Souvenir Building

Adler Planetarium (the night sky over Chicago in 1913 at the historic Atwood Sphere):

 

Picasso Sculpture miniature replica

Picasso Sculpture (the no-name sculpture in big-name Daley Plaza):

SBCS 2017: August Convention in Chicago

It’s time to reserve your table space at the annual SBCS SWAP MEET (full table – $25, half table – $15). Click here to download the Registration Form.

All across the country and maybe the globe, souvenir building enthusiasts are culling their collections in anticipation of this year’s swap meet. You never know what treasure will appear in the Saturday Swap and Sale Meet.

The Souvenir Building Society will have a group of small buildings from the Bob Kneisel Collection for sale.  Here are a few pictures.

SBCS 2017 CONVENTION: Building toward Chicago

The plans are coming together for the 2017 Convention of the Souvenir Building Collectors Society to be held in Chicago, IL on August 25-26-27. Click here for Mark and Mike’s update letter.

Here is the general outline of the three days.

Friday, August 25:

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Saturday: August 26:

  • EARlY AM: Chicago River Cruise – 50+ iconic Chicago buildings on view.
  • LATE AM: SBCS Business Meeting and Swap Meet (convention hotel). Some of the buildings from Bob Kneisel’s bequest to the Society will be available in the Swap Meet and others in the evening’s auction.
  • EVENING: Saturday Night Banquet (off-site venue) Raffle, Auction and Merriment!

Sunday: August 27:

  • Stay Tuned

SBCS 2017 Convention Hotel: A Suite Deal

2017 SBCS Convention City – Chicago

HOTEL BOOKING INFORMATION

In 1999 the SBCS convention was in Chicago. We paid $154.00 per night at the convention hotel. In 2017, eighteen years later, we have negotiated a rate at a suites hotel in the shadow of the Wrigley Building, for a mere $174 per night.

Our hotel in Chicago is the newly renovated Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown, at 40 East Grand Ave. All rooms are 340 sq. ft. suites with separate living and sleeping areas, two 27-inch LCD flat-screen TVs, a galley kitchen, King Beds, free WIFI, and free hot full breakfast & complimentary evening social Monday through Thursday.

When we book the Convention Hotel we promise to take a fixed number of room nights. When we all stay at the Convention Hotel we maximize the time we have to visit and socialize. This is why it is so important to all stay at the same place. If we don’t meet the promised room nights, SBCS has to pay the difference. So, lets all commit to stay at the Convention Hotel and get the most out of every moment of the short span of time we get to spend with each other every year.

Like NYC, parking in downtown Chicago is not cheap. We are researching some alternatives.

Souvenir Building Collectors Society members can book their hotel rooms starting April 1.        

 Click here for the members-only information and hotel link.