In this Victorian house in London, Maria Speake – House & Garden’s Interior Designer of the Year – has cleverly reorganised the layout and made inventive use of the salvaged materials for which her company Retrouvius is known.
“Yeah, we have one of those,” Byrnes said with a laugh. “It was for a giant. And it will be for other large items: back bars, theater lighting, airplane wings, floor boards, things like that. I like to joke that we could fit a double-decker English bus in there.”
Wagh has expertise in historic renovation and adaptive reuse. For those projects she researches the building’s past uses and historical significance, prepares nominations for the National Registry of Historic Places, and helps clients navigate historic tax credits.
“Salvaged from old buildings or junkyards, these items ensure a home’s uniqueness,” says George DeMarco, real estate agent with Halstead Manhattan, “and can boost resale value if done well. Walking into new construction and seeing a blast from the architectural past often can make just enough difference in the buyer’s mind to help make the sale.”
Nest Egg Auctions will sell the entire contents of a Connecticut Shoreline Antiques shop on May 22nd. (Ryan Brechlin)
The shop has been in this location for more than seven years and has accumulated a large inventory. The collection will be sold in one lot to the highest bidder at absolute auction.
“I’m first and foremost a preservationist,” Sauer said. “I don’t like to see historic buildings come down.” But, when buildings are demolished or remodeled, saving as much as possible is important, Sauer said, noting, “I don’t like seeing this stuff end up in a landfill.”
MONICA HERNDON / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
For example, the staircase combines six different woods from 10 different buildings in what Clark calls “an ode to Frank Furness,” the legendary architect who designed the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. “I kind of puzzled it together,” he says.
“I’m an architectural ambulance chaser. I’m here to pick up the pieces.” Adam Hills is sitting in his retail showroom on one of west London’s grungier thoroughfares. He is explaining the business model for Retrouvius, the salvage and interiors company he co-founded in 1993.
“We are already selling pieces from the hotel’s interior on our website. Items for sale include light fixtures fashioned from Venetian glass and French crystal, along with more than 40 marble mantels carved in a variety of styles, including a $40,000 inlaid marble mantel from the US Ambassadors Suite. More affordable items include steak knives ($25), polished bronze swan hook ($45), stainless steel slotted egg spoon ($20), and a steel ice scoop ($10),” added Browne.
Homeowners love features that come with a story, says Rich Ellis, publisher of Architectural Salvage and Antique Lumber News. “When you can point to your floor and say it came from an old shoe factory in Connecticut, for example, that’s a big attraction,” he says. There are between 500 and 700 architectural salvage businesses across the country, and business has been good, he says.
“I am sad about the lack of recycling of building materials of our classic homes here in the Bay area. Recycling was once the pride of our city,” Davis told Berkeleyside. As interest in the re-use of original architectural pieces declined, she said, overhead expenses — garbage collection, PG&E, EBMUD, alarm systems, worker’s compensation and higher wages — have continued to grow, which has made it hard to keep the business running smoothly.
The house was their living quarters, initial work space, and ongoing project—it had been added onto over the years, and the previous owner, a high school shop teacher, “trash picked historic doors and windows considered garbage,” says Margaux. “He used his finds to restore the rooms closer to their former, albeit frankensteined, self.”
The castle’s exterior mixes architectural styles, including 13th-century French Gothic. / Photo by Michele Snow
He scoured Europe for architectural salvage, buying up archways, façades, windows, and wall panels from the rubble of World War I. These centuries-old artifacts were incorporated alongside new construction materials (including wood intentionally weathered with seawater for an old-timey look). The result so impressed John D. Rockefeller, an avid art collector, that the tycoon used it as a model for the Cloisters in New York—the only museum in the United States to exclusively showcase art from the Middle Ages
The main building on the Mountain Thunder Monument site
Like everything in the complex, the main building — whose lofted archway is the most visible feature from the adjacent highway — is adorned with fragments of architectural salvage and repurposed refuse, and guarded by several statuary works. Some of these are modeled entirely from scratch, while others incorporate found materials that create a commentary on the ways in which American Indians have been displaced within colonial culture.
A trove of original architectural ornaments is being offered by the dealer, including “magnificent complete paneled rooms, finely carved marble mantels, elegant stair railings in iron or carved wood, leaded glass windows, parquet flooring, and so on.”
COURTESY OF JUDY COLBERT
One benefit of shopping salvage: the pleasure of having part of your home remind you of your childhood home, perhaps helping your grandmother make cookies or sitting by a fireside on a brisk evening.
Deconstructing history isn’t easy. Turney puts hours of sweat into the process, prying out rusty nails that haven’t budged in more than 50 years.This is the second Quonset hut he’s helped reclaim in the past couple years. The patinaed metal will be a huge hit in his Palmer store.“Some people use it as wainscoting or on the trim of a bar,” he said.
The cupolas on top of the large barn were restored with wood that came from an old barn that was donated for the project.
The Board of Selectmen approved an agreement with a salvage company to take items, including the front door and door knocker, from the house at 35 Wolfe Ave. in Beacon Falls, known locally as the Tracy Lewis House, for $3,000. –LUKE MARSHALL
While the items may fetch more money than the company is paying the town, officials said there’s no other proposals on the table. “We have nobody knocking on the door to go in and do anything,” said Selectman Michael Krenesky, who was named custodian of the house in 2014.
9 Factory St. is due for demolition in mid-June. Photo by Terry Smith.
“We’re focusing on iconic aspects of the Factory Street building, and repurposing materials where it makes sense to capture that building’s character as part of the new construction,” Ken Johnson, D.O., executive dean of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, said in the release. “We have found some beautiful and creative ways to honor 9 Factory St. in the new facility’s café,” added Johnson, who also serves as OU’s chief medical affairs officer.
A family home was remodelled by the team at Retrouvius – the reclaimed flooring was specifically designed for hosting cocktail parties.
Some 26 years later, they now rule the roost of the London salvage scene, with both a warehouse trove of reclaimed products and a design studio that specialises in refurbishing top-end properties using rescued materials in a modern context.
The theft was spread on social media, and officers started investigating possible locations of the items. The fixtures were eventually located at West End Architectural Salvage in Des Moines. The light fixtures were retrieved, and the owner of the store identified the seller as McGinn. He was paid $350 for each item. “The owner of the store appraised the light fixtures at $2,000,” the police report said.
Photo via Mon Valley Initiative. If Seen call Braddock police at 412-351-5400, or Mon Valley Initiative at 412-464-4000.
Zinski said her organization is concerned that the windows may be sold to an antique dealer or architectural salvage dealer for re-use in a house or business. The purchasers may not realize they are in possession of stolen property.
“You never know when you might see something,” said Paula Bishop, owner of City Girl in the Country, an architectural salvage company in Antrim that specializes in sinks. “I am not afraid to knock on people’s doors if I see something in their yard. And I didn’t realize at first that so many New England homes have their own junkyard in the backyard.”
Ryan Cox used a stencil (from Royal Design Studios) to create the living room’s ornately patterned walls. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield.
“Historically designated neighborhoods do a great job protecting the exteriors of historical homes, but we’re losing our historical interiors,” Ryan says. “Every renovation strips away more and more of the original character, and we lose a lot of the workmanship that went into the build.”
“Environmental aspects are so important that we save as much as we can. You wouldn’t be able to find any of it because it would all be in the landfills,” says Gordon.Good to know your Spanish Revival restoration pieces not only look good, but aren’t bad for the planet.
From his humble beginnings in Belgium to his current home in Gravenwezel Castle, explore the sophisticated elegance behind one of today’s most prestigious tastemakers.
The former Ashaway School building, built in 1904, is set to be demolished, but a committee is working to see that valuable materials are salvaged first. Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun
Swain said some of the potentially valuable components would be difficult to show in photographs. “Ornate cast iron radiators, slate chalkboards, I can look and find out the species of wood, but it should be hardwood trim,” he said.
DOWN TO THE FRONT DOOR: The stately, nine-bedroom home that stood for 96 years on Hodge Road was torn down recently due to damage from a fire, still under investigation, that broke out last July. A local shop was able to salvage some of the interior features. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)
“I salvaged some mantels, a couple of doors, and some smaller items throughout the place,” Menapace said last week. “Unfortunately, the demolition happened faster than I would have liked, and there wasn’t a lot that I could have grabbed.”
Mark Raszewski rescues unclaimed materials from businesses when they close or renovate. Nearly all of the items he sells are from Dane County. PHOTO ERICA KRUG
When local businesses or facilities close or get renovated, Raszewski helps to take places apart (recently Mautz Paint, Marling Lumber, UW-Madison’s Agronomy research lab, and Oscar Mayer), salvaging many unclaimed materials.
The home’s wooden floors are made from reclaimed barn floors, giving the space a farmhouse vibe.
Donna Aspden and her husband Kevin are the original recyclers, having built and created more than 500 stunning headboards during the last 30 years, transforming discarded materials into pieces of art for clients to use in their most personal of personal space, their bedrooms.
Find the King of Jeans sign among other local treasures at Provenance. | Photos: Khanya Brann unless otherwise noted
These companies all offer design and construction services (and impeccable craftsmanship) and dig into their inventories of endangered treasures to create the furniture pieces of your dreams.
Dutch builder/artist and friend Niek Wagemans went to his American artist friend Butch Anthony to build a greenhouse from scratch. Using only salvaged and found materials on and around Butch’s massive estate, deep down Alabama, Niek built his slice of paradise…. Where one can grow plants, enjoy the view while having a hot bath and….listen to amazing music. Niek tried it all out himself, with the lovely appearance of singer/songwriter Emily Stilwell…..
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – Burnham Mansion will be demolished soon, but crews are currently stripping the interior detailing from the historic home.
The demolition is being done to make room for the $87.1 million Central High School expansion.
An environmental collaborative aims to remove vacant properties, plans to salvage materials from 30 buildings in north St. Louis in 2019. Refab, a salvage yard in south St. Louis, is identifying buildings that qualify for deconstruction.
ELI CHEN | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
“When you strategically disassemble a structure, there’s more opportunities to find and remediate environmental hazards,” Ginn said. “It would allow us to reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfills and you don’t have as much dust spreading through neighborhoods.”
Demolition contractor Brant Grimm told the Times-News Friday he expects to begin razing Rogersville’s historic Blue Spring House in three to four weeks. He said he said he’s willing to salvage the brick and some large timbers from the 175-year old structure, but that wasn’t part of his original plan.
On Tuesday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to award the bid to demolish the Blue Spring House, which dates back almost 200 years, on East Main Street to Kingsport-based Grimm Construction for $23,900.
Photo by: Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette
The Burnham mansion at 603 W. Church St., Champaign.
“The properties were originally constructed in the late 1800s for use as private residences, but in recent years they have been subdivided into multiple apartment units. The properties are wood-frame construction. Many of the original architectural elements remain in the properties,” the notice said.
“We have lots of architectural items,” Plyer said. “In the form of doors, windows, newel posts, stained glass.”“We have a wedding registry as well,” said Carmichael. “If you’re a vintage lover, come pick what you want and we set it up in a display. We will make a tea towel with the couple’s names on it. All our tea towels sold right now benefit Relay for Life with their proceeds.”
Items from the U of R’s College Avenue campus are available through an online auction
“Much of this stuff dates back to the original building,” explained Carol Reyda, Project Manager for the University of Regina. “This is stuff that was used back in the early 1900’s.”
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I just wanted to thank you, because since I get all the updates through Reclamation Administration I found today out pieces from the old Waldorf Astoria in NYC are for sale – so I bought an old Waldorf Astoria door bell!!!! Yihaaa! – Diederick Kraaijeveld, Oudhout.com.
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Jackie Schmidt, president of Heritage Regina, stands among some of the materials which will be included in an online auction being put on by Heritage Regina. Many of the items are building materials removed from the College Avenue Campus of the University of Regina. BRANDON HARDER / REGINA LEADER-POST
Schmidt noted that much of the wood is old-growth wood from trees that were more than 100 years old.“Every lot has a historical story behind it,” said Schmidt. “These are architecturally significant. They belonged to the (College Avenue Campus) and we want to make sure that they are not put into the landfill.”
“It was a total shock, I was just gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe it.He said he reckoned the doors were probably “down to order for somewhere in France or Spain or England”.
The Captain William Tyson House is owned by the Township of Rochelle Park which wants to either sell or raze the structure, officials say.
Photo Provided | Preservation New Jersey
“Several challenges face properties on this year’s endangered sites list, including neglect and deferred maintenance, threats incurred by redevelopment and new construction, difficulties raising adequate historic preservation funding, the need for creative adaptive reuse proposals, inadequate recognition and protection by government agencies, and political influences,” said Courtenay D. Mercer, president of PNJ.
Above, ‘The Igloo,’ by Cory Bonnett, whose exhibit, ‘Visions of Pittsburgh,’ will be on display this month at Shehady Gallery in the Strip District.
Working exclusively with reclaimed and salvaged raw materials, he transforms hardwood doors, stainless steel panels and fallen trees into works of art, bringing creative reuse and sustainability to his projects. One example in the show is a piece he created on a steel panel salvaged from the demolished Civic Arena.
Earthwise Architectural Salvage was founded in Seattle in 1991 by Kurt Petrauskas. He was working as a demolition contractor and was struck by the unique and beautiful items that were being sent to landfills. Kurt started saving the items and holding yard sales, and soon the Seattle store was born. The Tacoma store opened in 2012 as their second location. Each store sources locally from the city around it.
Kathy Jackson Bosley found inspiration for the arched entrance in a fine home magazine. The reclaimed pilasters between the doors are cast iron and weigh over 1,000 pounds. Note the detail in the ceiling. Travertine is used on the floor. The fountain was created from three separate pieces, all reclaimed. Rita LeBleu
The American Press has never visited a house that demonstrates so much attention to detail and creative use of reclaimed or salvaged building materials, including old world European architectural elements.
Epstein was a jeweler by day; by night, he chalked his initials onto pieces of buildings that were slated for demolition. The wrecking crews gave Epstein mantels from the old West End, a Roxbury tavern built in 1675, and stonework from the old South Station. During the 1950s and 1960s, they razed so many buildings that Epstein’s collection filled six storage spaces across the city. He later consolidated his findings in a former bus depot/factory on Blue Hill Avenue.
Photo: John Davenport /San Antonio Express-News Old is Better Than New store owner Gabriel Galindo carries out some of his merchandise. Galindo specializes in salvaged architectural pieces that usually come from houses that are being torn down.
“You can’t find doors that big at Home Depot,” she explained. “We could have commissioned new ones, but these came from a restaurant in Provence, France, and you hardly ever see craftsmanship like that.”
The White Brick House on Friday April 13, 2018, in Forest, Va.
The two-and-half-year-old business is run entirely by about 20 women between 18 and 60 years old selling items priced from 50 cents to $600.Breiholz has noticed women are living a more creative life and are finding their own terms of what they want their life to be like.