KNEISEL COLLECTION UPDATE 2020

The View From the “Committee”

It has been three years since the SBCS was willed the Bob Kneisel Collection.  As in every other aspect of Life, Time marches on.  The Kneisel Committee, an ad-hoc group designated by the SBCS Leadership in 2016, was organized.  The Committee started a series of meetings to determine how to best use Bob’s Legacy for the benefit of both the SBCS and the Souvenir Building Community.  

Initially, the goal was to donate the entire Collection to an Organization that would curate, and display all or part of the Collection in a public setting.  This would allow both SBCS Members and the public at large access to the comprehensive Collection and provide a fitting Memorial to Bob.

There were several interested candidate Organizations.  Most were non-profit and required that SBCS include an ongoing endowment for curating and managing the Collection, something SBCS is not in a financial position to support.  Other interested Organizations wanted to market the items as a fundraising plan for their own organization thus splitting up the Collection.

School Children at the Architecture Museum in Lahore, Pakistan

One Institution that did receive the benefit of a donation of buildings from the Kneisel Collection was the Cultural Foundation of Pakistan, Museum of Architecture.  The Museum used the souvenir buildings as part of a larger display of world architecture aimed toward school age children.  This was a rewarding donation for SBCS, but was not a venue available to the North American public or SBCS Members.  

 

In 2018, the National Building Museum announced the pending acquisition of a Souvenir/Miniature Building Collection like Bob Kneisel’s Collection.  This event changed the focus of the Kneisel Committee.  With the other Collection becoming available in a National Museum at a national level, the Committee looked to other ways to utilize the Collection.

Discussion at both the 2017 Chicago and 2019 Kansas City SBCS Conventions revealed that many Members in attendance wanted a chance to obtain pieces from the Kneisel Collection.  The Committee then looked for ways to honor this request.

Bob’s Collection had over 4000 pieces and was very eclectic.  At each SBCS Convention since 2015 a selection of items was presented and distributed to SBCS Convention Members through auction, sale or raffle.  For these events items selected from the Collection were themed toward the Convention location.

These distributions only benefited the small percentage of SBCS Members who attend the SBCS Conventions.  The Committee wanted other ways to start the distribution of the Collection to benefit as many SBCS Members as possible.

The Committee started offering Category and Flash Sales to all qualified Members.  Initial offerings were specific categories in the Collection including certain levels of souvenir building quality and/or other types of Collectibles categories such as human and animal figurines, snow globes, charms, stadiums and crested porcelain.

These sales allow for an expanded group of SBCS Members to participate, but do not meet the desire of the SBCS Organization to distribute the remaining Collection into the hands of more SBCS Members or the Collecting Community at large.

Moving Forward in 2020

As the Flash Sales end in Spring 2020, we will be moving to the next and final phases of distributing the Kneisel Collection.  It will happen in two phases that will start concurrently.   

Phase 1 will be the offering an expanded selection of items from the Collection at the October 2020 SBCS Convention in Jackson MS.   This selection of items will be offered in the traditional way items have been offered at past Conventions including a Swap Meet,  a silent or live Auction item or as raffle items.  

Phase 2 will be the offering of the entire remaining Collection through an Auction House.  The actual scheduling of this event is still in the planning stages, so it may or may not happen in conjunction with Phase 1.  One Auction House under consideration utilizes Live Auctions allowing a greater number of souvenir building Collectors (and SBCS Members) to have access to the auctions without having to travel to the auction site.

Through these two Phases, SBCS Members will reap the benefits of the Kneisel Collection

SBCS Management and the Committee will be holding one part of the Collection as a legacy SBCS Collection.  The SBCS Convention Souvenir Buildings from 1999 through the 2019 Kansas City Convention will be held by the Society for historical purposes.  Bob Kneisel had collected all of the Commemoratives through 2015, and the Kneisel Committee has added each year’s Commemorative since. 

All fees charged to date, and all future fees charged from remaining Flash Sales and the profits from the two final Phases are used to defray costs for distributing the Collection and support other SBCS activities.

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: 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.

REGISTRATION

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 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: Early Registration Deadline July 10!

2017 SBCS Convention City – Chicago

Chicago 2017 – 52 Days and Counting!
I hope you’re as excited as we are about the Convention. Our Canadian members just celebrated Canada Day July 1, and it’s July 4th for most of the rest of us… our apologies to The Netherlands! August 25th will be here before you know it, and we will be in Chicago, the windy city.
Ya know, Windy City is not about the breeze coming off Lake Michigan. It’s what New Yorkers thought about the non-stop speaking of the Chicago delegation in NYC who were determined to convince the World’s Fair Committee that they were the right city to celebrate the Columbian Exposition. They didn’t stop talking until they won that honor, earning them the nickname Windy City, and creating the White City in 1893.

 

 

History of Chicago & Sunday Walking Tour
Chicago native Joan Kane will be at the convention this year. At our Friday night reception Joan will deliver a short talk about the History of Chicago.
On Sunday Joan will lead an early-morning walking tour along Dearborn St. where we will see an architectural history of Chicago, from old to new!
FUN FACT – Grant Park is built on cinders of the 1871 Great Fire of Chicago.

Registration: Early Registration Deadline is July 10!
Fellow SBCS’ers. It’s time to register. In fact, let’s sweeten the pot.
If you have your registration and payment in to Katharine by July 10, not only will you skip the late fee, we will enter all of your names into a draw for one of three Early Bird Prizes! Yes… Prizes! We like that.

The Frank Lloyd Wright bus tour is going to be amazing. No other way to describe it. Three hours of FLW – what else could you ask for? To book this private bus tour we had to promise a minimum of 25 bums in seats, so be sure to sign up for a seat on this fabulous FLW adventure.

Saturday’s Swap and Shop
This past week, the Bob Kneisel Collection Committee sent Michael and I a list of all the Kneisel buildings and monuments that are going to be in Chicago for the Swap Meet and the Auction. Yow! We want them all. Be sure you are in the room when these are unleashed. Here are a few examples.

 

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Pizza Night
For all of you who are arriving before Friday, Michael Emrick will be organizing a Thursday Pizza Night. More time to schmooze. Stay tuned for details.

Registration… Registration ….REGISTRATION!
We are looking forward to a flood of registrations this next week or so.
Please fill out your registration form and send it to Katharine.
Click here to access the Registration Form

Book your room now:  Click here for the Homewood Suites SBCS Member Reservations.             Our block of rooms is almost booked up.
We may be able to add a few rooms, but we’d have to do that soon.
Please book as soon as possible to get SBCS’ amazing rate.   The Homewood Suites are just 350 feet from the GRAND/STATE  STREET Red Line Station and easy connections from the airports and to the famous LOOP.

The Loop

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See you in Chicago…
Mark Fine & Michael Emrick