Thursday, September 20, 2018

Breaking Building News!

It’s not often we have breaking news for building collectors. Arrests, police, and seized miniature Eiffel towers. According to reports…

"French police have seized 20 tons of miniature Eiffel Towers as part of a crackdown on the souvenirs which are offered illegally to tourists at visitor hotspots around Paris, security sources told AFP. The small metal trinkets are sold for as little as five for one euro at places such as the Louvre museum or outside the real Eiffel Tower, usually by African migrants who play a game of cat-and-mouse with police. A joint investigation involving French immigration authorities led to raids on three Chinese wholesalers who are suspected of importing the towers and supplying a network of vendors in Paris. More than 1,000 boxes, containing in total 20 tons of miniature Eiffel Towers, were seized from two depots and three shops in the Paris region on Monday and Tuesday, a security source told AFP, confirming a report in Le Parisien newspaper. Nine people have been arrested."

Thanks to David W. who alerted me to this news. Twenty tons of souvenirs buildings may be headed to the trash compactor. You might think that’s a lot, but after doing some digging I discovered in the year 2013, over 60 tons were confiscated and back in 2011 it was 270 tons! Have you ever purchased a souvenir from a street seller? 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Prague National Theater Souvenir Building

This metal replica of the National Theater in Prague, Czech Republic stands 3.5 inches tall and 6 inches long, including the black stone base. It's thin, but has details on both sides. Words on the base are:  “Prague: Theatre National, Praha Nar Divadlo, Zak. Chraneno” Through internet research, I found some antique swards which also had the maker’s mark of “Zak. Chraneno” The National Theatre (Czech: Národní divadlo) in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art. The National Theatre opened for the first time in 1881 and designed by Architect Josef Zitek. The idea of building a stately edifice to serve as a theatre was first mooted in the autumn of 1844 at meetings of patriots in Prague. It began to materialize through a request for “the privilege of constructing, furnishing, maintaining and managing” an independent Czech theatre, which was submitted to the Provincial Committee of the Czech Assembly by František Palacký on 29 January 1845. The privilege was granted in April 1845. Yet it was not until six years later – in April 1851 – that the Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague (founded in the meantime) made its first public appeal to start collections. A year later the proceeds of the first collections allowed for the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works with the area of less than 28 acres, which predetermined the magnificent location of the theatre on the bank of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, yet at the same time the cramped area and trapezoidal shape posed challenging problems for the building’s designers. Today, the National Theatre consists of three artistic ensembles: opera, ballet and drama.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Knute Rockne Statue Notre Dame Stadium Souvenir Building

A very stately souvenir tribute to the iconic Notre Dame coach, this metal ashtray is a replica the famous Notre Dame stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Like some colossal guardian, Knute Rockne’s a full-body statue rises above the stadium in this souvenir, but not in the real stadium. Rockne is regarded as one of college football's greatest coaches, with an unmatched .881 winning percentage. He played football for Notre Dame, graduated magna cum laude in 1914, and as their head coach, won six national championships. He was known for motivational speeches such as "Win one for the Gipper" and "Anything worth doing is worth doing well" and the famous motto "For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he writes not that you won or lost but how you play the game." The ashtray was manufactured by D.Gottlieb & Co. of Chicago, Illinois, who primarily produced arcade games. The company was established by David Gottlieb in 1927, initially producing pinball machines while later expanding into various other games including pitch-and-bats, bowling games, and eventually video arcade games. Check out this video of the company's offices


Friday, March 2, 2018

Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas Banthrico Coin Bank Souvenir Building

This difficult-to-find coin bank is a replica of the "old" Federal Reserve Bank made by Banthrico. Text on the base of the bank reads, “Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas 1921.” Constructed in 1921, the real building is located at 400 South Akard Street, in downtown Dallas, Texas. Built in the Beaux-arts style, with large limestone structure with massive carved eagles, it is a City of Dallas Designated Landmark structure. A new Federal Reserve Bank building was built in 1992 and the old building was purchased by Digital Realty Trust in 2012 and currently operates as a data center and is now known as “The Databank Building.”

I collect 3D metal souvenir building replica of architecture from around the world. If you have any to sell or trade, contact me via my email address in the “complete profile” link at the top right of this blog.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Buy Souvenir of the 'Devil’s Tower’

Miniature replicas of the Devil’s Tower are available from the National Monument’s website.  They are made in either sandstone for $30 or a small version in pewter for $13.  Thanks to Loren C. for alerting me to this availability. Devils Tower, also Bear Lodge Butte, is a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains (part of the Black Hills) in Wyoming. It rises dramatically 1,267 feet (386 m) above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet (265 m) from summit to base. Devils Tower was the first declared United States National Monument in 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. The name Devil's Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, when his interpreter reportedly misinterpreted a native name to mean "Bad God's Tower.”  Native American names for the monolith include: "Bear's House" or "Bear's Lodge" (or "Bear's Tipi", "Home of the Bear", "Bear's Lair"; Cheyenne, Lakota Matȟó Thípila, Crow Daxpitcheeaasáao "Home of Bears), "Aloft on a Rock" (Kiowa), "Tree Rock", "Great Gray Horn,” and "Brown Buffalo Horn" (Lakota Ptehé Ǧí). Check out my previous post about 'natural souvenirs’ with other variations including and S&P shakers.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Buy a “micro” apartment in NYC for $100?

New York City real estate is competitive and has some legendarily small apartments.  Micro living is one thing, but would you pay for space you can’t occupy?  The Queens Museum is selling ‘apartments’ in their Panorama of the City of New York starting at $100.  The miniature building model of the city is a Panorama commissioned by Robert Moses for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. A team of over 100 people working for three years created the city at a scale of 1:1200. Money from the Museum’s 'Adopt-A-Building Program' provides for the care of the aging Panorama. With ‘ownership,’ donors receive a title deed for their adopted property. Interesting, I wonder how many souvenir building collects will follow suit and sell space in their miniatures? Money could fund new accusations or even labor for dusting. What do you think?

Monday, December 25, 2017

Video Tour of Ace Architects Souvenir Building Collection

Ace Architects David Weingarten and Lucia Howard began collecting souvenir buildings and architectural art 40 years ago. As their acquisitions grew, including over 3,000 architectural models, they designed and built a two-story addition to their home as a gallery. “You get the feeling that maybe we’re obsessive of something,” Weingarten said. Curbed, the real-estate blog, created a VIDEO tour of their Lafayette, California home and collection. A few years ago, they started a business, Piraneseum, where they buy and sell Grand Tour architectural art from the 17th to 19th century Europe. “There are an awful lot of ways to be an architect and one way is to design buildings.” Weingarten says. "But I think with Piraneseum and the collection, it’s another way of being an architect.”

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Building Buyers Beware

Caveat emptor – Let buyer beware, even in regards to souvenir buildings. I want to put out a warning due to some recent online auctions I’ve noticed. In the recent photo example above: A September auction sold a Vanadium building clock & inkwell for $480 after 8 bids. About two months later, another Valadium was listed as a buy-it-now for only $28.30 (another was listed later buy-it-now for $17.54) To me, these listings seemed suspect. The photos were the same (and only one image with the buy-it-now listings). The titles and descriptions of the listing all were the same or very similar. I checked into the sellers and both were from China and had 0 feedback. So, be careful when something seems too good to be true. Have you seen other suspicious listing of souvenir buildings? Have you gotten scammed while building a buildings? Please share your stories so others can learn from them. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Souvenir Buildings You Can Buy from Nova Scotia

Reader of this blog, Ian, alerted me to an online source for pewter products including a few souvenir buildings you can order.  Miniatures of The Halifax Town Clock and Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, both in Nova Scotia, Canada, can be purchased from Aitkens Pewter. They also have a ‘larger' Snug Cove Village with multiple buildings in this fishing village. The real Halifax Town Clock, also sometimes called the Old Town Clock or Citadel Clock Tower, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the historic urban core of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The idea of a clock for the British Army and Royal Navy garrison at Halifax is credited to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who arranged for a turret clock to be manufactured before his return to England in 1800. It is said that Prince Edward, then commander-in-chief of all military forces in British North America, wished to resolve the tardiness of the local garrison. The clock tower is a three-tiered (three story , irregular octagon tower built atop a one story white clapboard building of classic Palladian proportions. It was erected on the east slope of Citadel Hill facing Barrack (now Brunswick) Street. The clock face is 4-sided displaying Roman numerals. As with most clocks the "4" is shown as IIII for aesthetic symmetry and not as IV. The Town Clock began keeping time for the garrison on October 20, 1803. The tower housing the Town Clock has been used in the past as a guardroom and as a residence for the clock caretaker.  The caretaker position ceased in 1965 with its maintenance now being performed by Citadel Hill employees who wind the clock mechanism twice weekly. A major restoration project in 1960 saw the exterior façade of the Town Clock building returned to its original Georgian appearance. The real Peggy'sPoint Lighthouse, built in 1915, is one of Nova Scotia’s most well-known lighthouses and located in the quaint fishing village of Peggy’s Cove along the South Shore an hour from Halifax. Peggy’s Cove is famed for its picturesque and typically East-Coast profile, with houses perched along a narrow inlet and on wave-washed boulders facing the Atlantic. Although this unique environment has been designated a preservation area, it is still an active fishing community. I wrote about other pewter replicas here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mies Van de Rohe’s Farnsworth House Model

Mies van der Rohe, famous for his quote, “Less is more," designed Farnsworth House in 1945. Constructed in 1951 in Plano, Illinois, the sleek and simple structure has become one of America’s architectural icons. You can own a wooden replica of the glass residence thanks to Marcus Bree of Little Building Co.  According to Bree, “My plan is to create a range of products that do justice to these great buildings and their architect's works. My architectural models have a truth to the materials they are made from and the look and feel that they could have come from the architect's own studio.” You can get to know each component of the building as it’s a kit that you construct. “I've been making architectural model kits for a few years now and it is something I'm passionate about,” Bree said. “It combines my interest in the built environment and architecture with my love for designing and developing new products.” He has completed a Kickstarter campaign for the new miniature and will begin producing them soon. I wrote previously about other models produced by Little Building Co.

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