When I was a kid, charm bracelets were the bomb. I always envied this girls whose wrists were weighted down with double rows of tiny pendants. Especially the kind with moving parts.
My sisters and I had our own charm bracelets. They weren’t heavily populated but they told little stories mostly about places we had visited on family road trips. I rediscovered mine about ten years ago. It was missing a few charms (I recall a caribou, a lobster hutch with a tiny crustacean inside and a crate filled with Florida oranges that were always getting snagged in sweaters and probably came loose and were misplaced). But I have been adding to it with mostly thrifted charms from places I have visited in my adult years.
About five years ago, I had enough charms to start a spin off bracelet dedicated to 20th Century Architecture that I called “Monsters of Modernism.” I started off strong in amassing sterling silver momentoes, but even with the World Wide Web at my finger tips, finding examples was harder than I thought and I got distracted and forgot about the project.
It took a pandemic to restart my interest in my charm bracelets. Late nights trawling through eBay listings led to the discovery of this model of the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs. This building was designed by Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago and completes in 1962.
I also took the Seattle Space Needle off my overloaded travel bracelet and added to my architectural bracelet.
So here’s what I’ve got so far: The Cadet Chapel; Marina City, Chicago (architect Bertrand Goldberg); Picasso statue, Chicago; Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto (architect Mies van der Rohe); Toronto City Hall (architect Viljo Revell); Ontario Place Cinesphere, Toronto (architect Eberhard Zeidler); and the Seattle Space Needle (architects Edward E. Carlson and John Graham, Jr.)