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Souvenir Buildings

I have long been aware of the existence of souvenir miniature buildings. Indeed I have a few of them myself. But until I started hunting for websites I was unaware of just how big a subject this was and how seriously they are taken.

For the moment all I can do is provide some links to a selection of websites on the subject. I hope however to return and do the subject more justice.

A good starting point is probably the website of the Souvenir Building Collectors Society. On their front page they define a souvenir building as "a three-dimensional, miniature version of an actual building, monument, statue, bridge, dam etc. Souvenir buildings trigger a memory of a building or a structure, a time, a place, or perhaps a person." I'm not sure I entirely accept this as a sufficient definition. There are many miniature buildings (especially in the world of model railways) that are miniatures of an actual building but would not normally be considered souvenirs. Does a miniature have to be consciously produced (commercially?) as a souvenir to qualify?

Or too small?

Their last blog item, as I write this, from November 2019 is a discussion of whether charms (as in charm bracelets) or spoon handles can qualify as souvenir miniatures. Which is not a debate I have ever had but ....If you do an image search for 'bracelet charm building' you will find there are lots of them.

Another site which might be of interest is The author 'Dave' says "This site is a source for both new and established souvenir building collectors. A ‘building community’ where collectors share information, knowledge and have fun.....[and can come] for all of your souvenir building collecting news & information." He also trades in metal souvenir buildings. There is some really interesting stuff in his blog.

There are clearly a lot of these miniatures about. At least two sites (The Architect's newspaper and the New York Times) report that earlier in 2019 an architect, David Weingarten, donated thousands of building souvenirs to the US National Building Museum in Washington.

A very conventional souvenir, a modern piece modelling the Beijing Olympic Stadium and a most unusual piece with dual function.

These, and more, images have been made available in Dropbox by the National Building Museum. On that site, one of the images is a text page describing the displayed exhibits.

As always, please do write, with observations or information, to  MiniatureBuildings

December 2019