Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Southern Accents: Architectural Salvage Store

All photos in this post by Jamie.  We were upstairs in this big old store and I said "OH, JAMIE!  Take a picture of this FLAG!"   It's so huge!  And, from the years of wear, it was translucent ...making it almost magical.  Turns out to be the coolest picture of the day.

When I was with Jamie last time in Alabama...we  took a trip to one of Alabama's beautiful old towns.  This one is one of many that had been hit really hard by the tornadoes in April.  So hard, that downtown is barely recognizable in parts.  

Driving through, you miss all the large old trees lining the streets, sheltering the beautiful and gracious old southern homes.  It's a sad and a desolate feeling to see homes destroyed and the giant trees ripped into freakish, grotesque shapes that look ghostly.  

It's depressing to see and as much damage as was done,  I have to remind myself that very little life was lost and things can be replaced...

I was glad to see one of my favorite stores downtown was spared.  Yes, it had damage, windows blown out and the front of their store was bunged up a little, yet was still intact.  Thank goodness.  Repairs can be made.

It's a treasure trove, packed full of salvaged parts of old buildings, houses and even old streets.  You want a streetlight from the turn of the century?  They've got it!  Need a mantle to fit your odd sized fireplace?  They've got it!  Need a  stained glass window?  Tub faucet handles, light fixture, hinge, or doorknob to match another you have in your old home?  They probably have it. 

Have a look around.

I even like to sniff, because old things like this smell good--the smell of old wood makes my heart sing, and it makes me remember grandpa.

 A section of what was once a large, marble railing...

I was impressed with the number of iron grates for fireplaces, stacked and sorted.

Someone made crosses out scraps of salvaged wood in colors.  

It's a fascinating place.  You could look for a couple hours and not see everything.

And get this:  Levi LOVES IT there.  He says "Oooh!  Oohh!"  and points at everything, especially the light fixtures overhead.  And he looks and looks and looks, and doesn't want to leave!  

Jamie had a camera in her purse and shot some photos of Levi, all happy in a salvage store.

I couldn't believe it.  He has a junker's soul, and true to his heritage,  he loves old stuff.
It's the fourth generation!  Yahoo yippety!

I want the blue door.  Bad.

I like the mullions above this door.

There are cases full of JUST doorknobs of every sort. 

Lovin' this well-worn workbench in the shop.

Such beauty, everywhere you turn!

Cabinets full of antique and reproduction hardware of every kind imaginable.  

We stepped out into a courtyard via these cool old iron steps behind the store to get into their warehouse where more goodies are stored, and the courtyard was full of interesting outdoor salvage...

I'm SO HAPPY someone saw fit to save all these old beautiful pieces, to start a business so that homeowners of historic homes can come to in order find parts to restore their loved homes to original.

These old pieces have certainly not outgrown their usefulness, even after all these years.  These items can be remade to work if they need to be, or used as they are.  

The practicality, adaptability and usability of vintage items never ceases to amaze.  The quality and the beauty of the handwork done by talented tradesmen of the past once surrounded people in nearly every room in their home.  It's a beautiful thing to behold.  And it lives on, long may it live.

PS:  I really, really like big, old, beautiful DOORS.


Boyett-Brinkley said...

What a fabulous place -- I wonder how long it would take to get there from Texas? I can see the Hubs toting that old workbench home along with the cabinet full of little drawers. Me? All those doors and I just absolutely love glass doornobs -- like the ones in my house growing up! It would be fantastic to build a house using all the stuff from this store -- ah, dream on!

Unknown said...

Wow! I love how everything is so neat and arranged in order. Most places are just "toss it where there's room"type of places. I love doors and there were a lot I liked, especially the blue one. Thanks for sharing.

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

Wow! What an awesome place! Beautiful pictures! I'm Loving those old doors,and that old workbench. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Jane said...

We lived in an old two-story home built in 1901, when our children were growing up. It had five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and four fireplaces...just beautiful. It was perfect for our family, but when the kids all grew up, we no longer needed the huge old house, so we bought a farm outside town. The front door was similiar to the blue door here, but it was maybe larger and was dark green. There were two oversized bathtubs like this and the fireplaces each had a different style mantle that was about 6 feet tall and carved, centered with a beveled mirror. Each had a different tile surrounding the fancy covers for the fire. We didn't use them, because they were on a central chimney and we were unsure of its integrity. We had wonderful years there.

I loved this tour of this fabulous store! I think you NEED the blue door. Call Jamie to go get it for you!

Mary Jane said...

Especially for the Texan who wrote...are you familiar with Old Home Supply House in Fort Worth? They have a website,, and they have wonderful stuff. I almost drooled all over everything the only time I've gotten to go!
Mary Jane

Shirley said...

I am going to have to go visit this place. I SO wanted to go when we were building the house - for some neat old accents, but I didn't have time to put my paintbrush down to zip up there. I can still add those accents now, right :)

Tammy said...

Hey Jamie where is this store at I used to live in Huntsville many moons ago. Love the old vintage stuff.

mary your sis said...

What a fun place! Did you buy anything? I would love to watch Levi enjoy that store and point at all the beautiful things!

Cher' Shots said...

Oh my goodness, I could lose several hours in that place ~ I love it! Also love that your genes are healthy and spreading down the generations.
'hugs from afar'

Erin said...

Love it. Love those crosses.

LeaderOfTheChickenParade said...

@ Tammy -- The store is in the old downtown area of Cullman, AL.

Mom you need to put of the pictures of the cases and cases of door handles! That one was my favorite, other than the flag of course! :)

Kerin said...

Awesome place! Thanks so much for sharing!
I saw at least 100 things in there, that I would be so happy to give a new home to :)
Love the 'new junker' :)
He needs a t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Just wanted to say--I too have an obsession with old salvage! I have a few old doors like the blue victorian-- out in my garage. I got some of them off of Take a look there for a local door and you can paint it your blue! Jodi

Julie Hinds said...

How could you not spend the day there! Too funny, I was dreaming about the blue door and owning a farmhouse worthy of that door, and then I saw your comment about loving the door as well, I love the shade of blue and the scallops!