FLINT, MI — The organization overseeing the demolition of hundreds of Flint homes has banned salvagers from entering them and taking materials before they are razed.
Unlike black market copper and metal thieves, there is a legitimate trade in salvaging materials from forgotten homes. Some of these people say there is surely value to be found in the 1,600 homes targeted for demolition in Flint.
“Like banisters and chandeliers and stained glass windows,” said Nick Hoffman. “All those artifacts from the house. The details of the home.”
Hoffman runs Carriagetown Antique Center in Flint. He sees the demand for pieces like this all the time, what he calls architectural salvage.
“A lot of people want the new houses, but they want the vintage look,” Hoffman said.
The Genesee County Land Bank, however, is not allowing people to salvage these homes before teardown, even though some people are inquiring, said Doug Weiland, the executive director of the land bank.