For a limestone mantel from the Waldorf Astoria, the church that owns the Olde Good Things antique stores asks for $8,500. But for the death of each child in a fire at a home it ran in Haiti, parents said the same church offered to pay just $50 to $100 in family compensation — along with $150 for funeral-related costs such as new clothes and transportation. The wealth of the Church of Bible Understanding in the United States has long stood in contrast with the shoddiness of its two children’s homes in Hai
At the Olde Good Things antique store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a French crystal chandelier can go for tens of thousands of dollars. A marble mantel sells for more than $20,000 and hand-carved dinner tables are priced even higher. The store’s Christian missionary owners offer their well-heeled customers a heart-warming story: Part of the proceeds pay for the group’s orphanage in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. What they don’t say is that even though they claim in IRS filings to be spending around $2.5 million annually, the home for boys and girls was so dirty and overcrowded during recent inspections that the government said it shouldn’t remain open.
Karen Koseck is the executive director of Creative Junk Therapy, a nonprofit creative reuse center that promotes creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse.
If you ask Koseck what she likes most about her job, she’ll tell you it’s the excitement she brings to her clients. “I love the excitement of the people,” she said. “We have tried to make a fun, interesting environment and there is a lot to see. Our goal is to encourage people to reconsider the things they throw away.”
The B-Wa (h) renhaus with its shop-in-shop range of used goods is also a unique project nationwide. It is an important step on the way to ‘department stores of the future’, which offer attractive shopping opportunities for used goods. As part of the Re-Use initiative, three to four “used department stores of the future” are to be built in Berlin in the medium term.
Photographer: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images
Berlin hopes to use the stores to “anchor the re-use of used goods in urban society” by functioning as centers to educate and spread tips on re-use — especially to sections of the public that aren’t currently much involved in the circular economy. The initiative is part of a broader plan from Berlin’s ruling center-left/Green/left coalition that looks to slash waste in all areas of the city’s economy.
“It’s an industrial sewing machine and would have been operated by several women at the same time,” Jill says. “We added a glass panel so you can see through to the mechanics as you eat.”
Skanska’s Jimmy Mitchell has been a strong advocate for salvaged building materials for more than a decade.
From Long Beach to Boston, a new generation of organizations has grown up around the deconstruction of buildings and the sale of reusable materials. They’re often nonprofits backed by local architects, builders and environmental groups. Their aim is to build a supply chain that puts salvaged goods on equal footing with new products and materials.
“The results of deconstruction are less dumping in landfills, prevention of demolition by neglect, and healthier and safer neighborhoods. In the long term, we envision a citywide ordinance to deconstruct historic structures instead of demolishing them. This will significantly improve the environmental impact of the City of Savannah.” said Mae Bowley, Executive Director of Re:Purpose
A team of workers demounts ceramic tiles in the Institut de Génie Civil in Liège © OPHOTO
“We see this as a pilot project, research,” Devlieger says. “[We are] testing methods for the professionalisation of reuse. Architects sometimes don’t understand the power they have. They are diverting huge streams of money towards new materials when they specify and there are social, environmental and economic consequences of those decisions.”
“It can be hard to describe exactly what we do because we do a lot! Our deconstruction team takes apart old buildings; our resale team finds new homes for the reclaimed materials; and our Refab Lab crew turns some of those materials into high-quality home furnishings. On top of all that, we provide training and reemployment opportunities to recently homeless men.”
“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.”
“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.
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.
Chelsea Pickett, Stardust’s business development manager, says the growth of metro Phoenix makes it challenging to keep up with construction demands, but more people participating in the reuse movement could ease the pressure. (Photo by Megan Marples/Cronkite News)
A 2015 Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet on construction and demolition waste found more than 545 million tons of debris ended up in landfills every year, even though 75% of those materials had the potential for reuse.
For the first six months of 2018, Holiber worked on the flock’s wooden frames, using reclaimed lumber from Big Reuse, a surplus salvage vendor in Brooklyn, and scraps he collected from the streets.
You can’t get these pieces anywhere else, and it’s worth it to search through stores like these to truly find something that fits with your style.
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.”
Re-use Hawaii founder Quinn Vittum talks about the salvaging operation at Kona Village Resort at their yard below the Kaloko Light Industrial Area. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
One company on Hawaii Island has assumed a more macro view of recycling and in only a year has filled an entire baseyard with salvaged material from demolished structures. Re-use Hawaii is a nonprofit deconstruction business, and the only one of its kind, focused on reducing the single largest landfill waste stream in the state.
Ruth Smith pulls up the stencil to reveal a painted design on a block of reclaimed wood, during an art class at Reclaimed By You, on Main Street in Ellicott City. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)
“It was perfect and meant for me,” said Mundell, who works at Community Forklift and is also a customer at Reclaimed By You. “It’s such a unique and inspiring business where people are really creating connections and truly being a part of something local.”
The original idea came from local politicians in 2006 or 2007. According to the waste management plan, all the municipalities should reduce waste and start some kind of business where it is possible to reuse these unwanted resources.
“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.”
At the ReTuna shopping mall in Sweden everything for sale is recycled, thanks to its clever location.
“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.
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.
Katie Deuel, executive director of Home ReSource in Missoula, said thousands of items from the old Mercantile found their way into homes, schools and offices across the city. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current)
“One woman had a table made for her husband,” Deuel said. “He had worked at the Merc for 35 years, so she really wanted that. There’s some great human interest stories in there. People recognized the value of it as material that came locally from our ecosystem and stayed in the community.”
Stardust, a Southeast Valley nonprofit headquartered at 1720 W. Broadway Road in Mesa, is partnering with several Valley companies to divert used building materials at construction sites from the landfill to repurpose and resell.
Stardust, the only building-material reuse nonprofit in metro Phoenix, has created “Starve the Landfill,” focused on sustainability in the construction industry. Starve the Landfill stresses the importance of deconstruction and donating building materials to be reused and repurposed.The goal is to create a strong community of eco-friendly contractors and suppliers that want to reduce their material waste.“One of the amazing benefits is that local companies will be acknowledged for their partnership and commitment to sustainability and the reuse of building materials,” said Karen Jayne, CEO of Stardust.
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.
Photo credit: Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
The 7th annual ReStore ReUse Contest is an amazing showcase of innovative building projects constructed predominantly of used building materials. Past projects Past projects have run the gamut from small tabletop items and wall décor to artist studios and tiny homes. The majority are medium sized and include furniture, yard art, planters, chicken coops, little free libraries, sheds and more.
Support the reuse industry. This area needs considerable help, and it’s where state leadership is crucial. One state leading the pack is Minnesota. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has shown its support for the industry in many ways, but here are a few of their initiatives that can be replicated by your state: Hold a statewide summit for industry stakeholders; support the launch of a statewide reuse support network (ReuseMN); offer a free, online materials exchange (MN Materials Exchange); conduct a study
Photo by Darrell Jackson
Pictured is the interior of the Glendale location where Stardust Building Supplies offers a large assortment for sale to the public.
“Our deconstruction service is free and we have a list of questions that we ask to determine if the job is something we can do,” Fulton said. “Due to Environmental Protection Agency rules, we cannot do houses that were built before 1978 due to rules about asbestos and lead paint. A job supervisor will also do site searches to make sure the job is something we can do.”
“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.”
via The Furniture Bank
All that money I spent on rent for the storage locker could have been put to much better use, and all that furniture and stuff that I was storing is now being put to use as well, for people who really need it, and not a bit of it goes to landfill. This truly was a win-win situation.
..Former NASA flight controller Caroline Kostak turned it into RePurpose Depot.
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.
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 show is open to the public at no charge Saturday, May 19 from 10 to 5, and Sunday, May 20 from 10 to 3. Artwork will be available in all price ranges. Art sales support CARTM’s reuse and recycling programs, and the Pine Grove Community House.
Ballard Reuse sells salvaged building materials, vintage decor, and unique twists on hardware store staples. Don’t feel like you’re handy enough? They handmade furniture built on-site from reclaimed materials.
“Since 1993, our community has donated nearly 50 million pounds of building materials to The RE Store. If you combined all of the lumber, doors, lighting, windows and more that you’ve saved, we could construct nearly 600 homes, roughly half the size of the York Neighborhood here in Bellingham.”
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.
Pete Brands (left) and Travis Blomberg (right) with WasteCap Resource Solutions
The four departments we plan to offer in the next six months are deconstruction, salvage services, the retail store and Do It Yourself, in which WasteCap partners with Fox 6 News to provide upcycling and reuse tutorials using materials in the warehouse.
Recycled Art Contest Details:
Habitat for Humanity ReStore East – 420 S. 1st, Milwaukee, WI
ReStore’s 9th Annual Recycled Art Contest shines a light on some of Milwaukee’s resourceful repurposers. The contest challenges the public to create works primarily using the donated product found at ReStore. From artwork to repurposed furniture, the only rule of the contest is the majority of materials must be purchased at ReStore. The winners are determined by your vote!
A guide for the perplexed inside Philly Reclaim. As the books and paintings behind the sign indicate, there’s more on offer here than building materials.
And Philly Reclaim will sell just about anything that anyone brings to it. When I visited the store last fall, the available items included organ pipes that a donor had dropped off, deer skins, a phone booth, a pool table, and even old turntables and vintage vinyl LPs to play on them. There was wood reclaimed from a bowling alley, chalkboards from the old West Philadelphia High School, and a wooden bathtub filled with clawfoot feet for those needing them for their own historic restorations.
“It seems to get bigger every year. I keep saying I don’t want to get bigger, but how do you not?”
The crew at Heritage Salvage, which was named Petaluma’s Small Business of the Year.
“Our motto is ‘practice sustainable enthusiasm,’ ” he said. “If you are sustainably enthusiastic about that which you do, it will not feel like work. I love what I do.”
In a town where desanctified churches morph into breweries and dusty factories are reborn as swanky apartments, repurposing stuff has been elevated to an art form. Pittsburgh has salvage skill.
Image via Guernsey’s
For over 100 years, this counter-cultural landmark has served some of the world’s greatest poets, musicians, and artists of all time. In 2011, the hotel was sold to developers for $80 million, and is currently undergoing a major face lift. Even so, its legacy is far from forgotten. Now, New Yorkers can take a little piece of its history home with them as Guernsey’s auction house is selling 55 original doors from the hotel, which are linked to “the iconic individuals who lived behind them.”
Dan Speicher – Tribune Review
The American Architectural Salvage Shop, in Mt. Pleasant.
Czerpak said he will work closely with the demolition manager to evaluate potential projects based on store inventory needs or popular items. Waltenbaugh said 75 percent of people hired for the team will be female heads of household, those struggling with addiction and others who might have difficulty finding jobs. The employees will be trained.“We’re excited to get that up and running,” he said.
Architectural Salvage offers a unique, bohemian-style, funky charm atmosphere for special events, sit-down meals, meetings, parties and receptions for up to 200 people. Hosts gain the benefit of being able to “borrow” anything from the store to use for their decorations and backdrops on the day of their event, giving them complimentary creative license to create a whimsical and colorful setting for their event, including access to a built-in bar.
Andrew Smith, near some of the repurposed doors and windows for sale at ReStore in Portland. Staff photo by Brianna Soukup
There are over 800 ReStores in the United States, Smith said, most operating on a county-by-county basis.