Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Javier’s Collection & Display
Some souvenir building collectors focus on a specialty or niche of replicas. One such collector makes his home in San Antonio, Texas in the shadows of a famous tower: The Tower of The Americas. He contacted me and wanted to share photos of his collection with everyone. “I deal strictly with towers,” Javier D. said. “Very few buildings.” About 30 years ago, a friend visited the Tower of The Americas and bought him a book and a pencil sharpener replica of the tower. He didn't pay to much attention to this but and put them away. Then, about 5 years later, while in high school, he rediscovered the book and noticed that in it was a scale of our tower in comparison with a few other towers from around the world. “I did not even know other cities aside from us and Paris had a tower. But I was fascinated with the other towers and the different designs,” he said. At this point, he was not collecting, just reading about the towers. When EBay came on the scene around 1998, he began to search for other Tower of the America items and discovered that he could purchase replicas of other towers from around the world. “So I started collecting and collecting,” he said. He now has about 200 observation and TV towers which range from 3" to 14" tall. The collection materials include various metals, wood, plastic, glass, and even a few very old iron replicas. Also to add to his collection, he has personally visited towers in Toronto, Berlin, Stuttgart, Paris, Dallas and Seattle. Three personal favorites of his are a hand-made Tashkent, Uzbekistan TV tower, a Cairo tower made from cherry wood and a St. Petersburg TV tower. He sometimes finds towers on eBay which are mislabeled, “I have studied towers for so long that I can spot them and ID them a mile away." Labeled as ‘some kind of Eiffel tower,’ he found a Japanese Yokohama Marine tower for $10 this way while others have sold for $240. He also has ‘tons’ of tower-related items such as brochures, books, key chains, postcards, pins, un-used tickets, phone cards, and coins. Why does he collect towers? “I just love the futuristic unique designs that each city tower offers. Unlike buildings, towers never really get lost among the city skylines and in fact are the most prominent things in their skylines,” he said. He was glad to have discovered the Souvenir Building Collectors Society and he’s hoping to find others who collect towers. “There are still a few out there I don't have and would love to just see them!” Check out my other posts of souvenir displays. Do you have photos of your collection you’d like to share? Send me an email with photos and information and I’ll post it for fellow building collectors to see.