Saturday, September 22, 2012

Architectural Salvage

Along this journey I have salvaged many architectural treasures for use in my home. Some items I've discovered while scouring architectural salvage/antique stores, some have been given to me by awesome neighbors, some I have salvaged from houses and a church slated to be demolished... This is a list of some of them.

The clawfoot tub above was salvaged from a nearby house that was recently demolished. I got 3 of them: that full size clawfoot, 1 full size pedestal tub, and the smaller 4 1/2 ft size clawfoot tub. The one above I kept for my house. I sold the smaller one and the pedestal tub here. The fun part was removing them all from the 2nd and 3rd stories of the houses they came from.

One of my favorites is something I've wanted for a long time. A room divider between Living Room and Dining Room. I salvaged the one below from one of the houses that the tubs came from. I paid a pretty penny for it. But it will look amazing in my house.


And again from those houses I got a Coffered ceiling. It has been painted over but was originally stained oak, and will be again someday, when I install it in my dining room.

And some big wide crown molding for the living room.


Here is a porch light I found in a salvage store. I think I paid like $5 for it. The original glass was an ugly yellow color and it was missing one piece of glass and another was cracked. So I ordered some of this cool green stained glass and repainted the frame black. This will go on my front porch ceiling.

One of my awesome neighbors was kind enough to give me their original mailbox, which they had kept in their basement. I had wanted a mail slot but refuse to cut a hole in my door for one and had no room on either side of the door for a horizontal mail slot. I considered a vertical mail slot but couldn't pass up this original mailbox from the neighbor. It is made of very heavy cast iron.

FOR SALE: I got 2 sets of sandstone stair treads from the demolished houses as well. One for my own house (the narrower rock faced ones in the back), and a set of five 4-inch thick ones that I have for sale. There was also one additional piece of long narrow sandstone that went along the side of the porch. I recently sold that.

I got this set of 13 original sunroom 9-lite windows from one of the demolished houses as well. They are all the same size, original stained interior, white painted exterior. They had two brass turn style knobs and catches. I sold the whole set to an art studio in Michigan.

I got this wood staircase panel out of one of the demolished houses as well. It was originally stained, not painted. I will strip it and install it in my house. My staircase is enclosed by two walls. I am removing one wall and installing a beautiful salvaged newel and banister. This will go on the living room side of the staircase.

I rescued a lot of doors from the houses right before they were demolished. I've sold them all except one of the mirrored closet doors which I kept for myself, and one regular closet door which is still for sale. These mirrored closet doors weigh a TON. It is the original beveled mirror, built into the door with a matching stain wood trim border.

I make a weekly Saturday morning trip to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (if you have one in your area, I'd recommend checking it out, you never know what they'll have). They usually have some vintage stuff at mine. Today I spotted this pedestal sink made in 1919. I had to have it. I tried to leave it there. I really did. It wouldn't let me. I kept getting sucked back toward it. I even made it as far as back out to my car, and even got it started, but then was sucked back in again and had to buy it. I might try to fit it into my bathroom remodel plans. If I can't, I'll sell it. Paid $65 for it. They also had a really cool 1899 toilet. Too old for my house but it was cool.

And of course, the carriage house that I disassembled in record time which will one day be my garage.


I saw this 1910s salvaged newel, banister, and balusters set listed online at a Columbus architectural salvage store. I had to have it. I drove 3 hrs to Columbus to buy it. It's all quarter sawn oak. It all has to be modified to fit the angle of my staircase.


I recently went to a huge liquidation auction of a local architectural salvage store. Everything went for pennies on the dollar. A lot of 50+ historic front doors went for $25. This happened again and again. There was so much stuff. I didn't feel like hauling anything though. So all I bought was a lot of about 45 baseboard registers. I needed some for my house. The rest I will sell. I'm going to sandblast them first. 

At the same auction was a bunch of wrought iron fencing. I did not want to haul it but I wanted enough to make some security bars for my basement windows. I bought 3 of these fence panels from the high bidder. I will sandblast them, cut off the top rail, cut them down to size, weld some brackets onto them, paint them black, and make security bars for all 6 basement windows out of them. 

More to come...


  1. I'm so jealous! I guess I should be better about going to the local salvage stores.

  2. Those porch windows! That coffered ceiling!! That sink!!
    If I lived even remotely near you I’d be stealing them!

    1. LOL. I'm afraid I might become an architectural salvage hoarder. That coffered ceiling was a lot of fun to remove (sarcasm). It came down in one giant (extremely heavy) piece. I thought it would kill me (of course I was more worried about it cracking). I couldn't separate the sections until it was down on the floor.

  3. Oy. Wish I'd known about that set of sunroom windows before you sold them to the art studio. They would have been worth driving over from Pennsylvania for. With a trailer in tow.

    1. I just picked up another set. They are about the same size, there are 18 of them, but they have the square lites of glass. All glass lites are the same size. Same turn style brass hardware. I will post pics later.

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  5. I just came over from Old House Dreams...

    Wow, you have some luck! I am insanely jealous! How many times can one gal hit the jackpot? You must be an amazing person for karma to bestow such an amazing windfall of architectural goodness upon you! ;)

    The room divider is called a colonnade. I only know this because I am a hoarder of old house things, only the things I am "lucky" to find all fit on my bookshelves or my hard drive. :/ And again, I am supremely jealous, because I think a colonnade is one of the more charming features in old houses!

    I can't pick a favorite here, though. All so, so amazing, And your house will love you once they're all installed! Adding you to my Feedly so I can watch for updates!

    1. Thank you :) I have lucked out on some of these finds, for sure. And thanks for telling me the room divider is called a Colonade. That's useful info. I had never known the actual name for it. This is by far my favorite find. I always loved them and wanted one for my house. It's going to be fun to install (sarcasm). My 2nd favorite is probably the sink. I feel like I have become a bit of a hoarder of old house things. Today I had to give away over 20 historic 8 lite sunroom windows, simply to be able to get into my garage again.