Friday, August 8, 2008

The ReUse People

Many years ago, I was walking down 86th Street in New York City. There was a crew demolishing a building. Just as I passed and looked into the shambles of what once had been a 1920s bar, I saw a workman bring down his sledge hammer on a gorgeous stained glass window. I am pretty certain that I screamed. I couldn't believe that he hadn't at least dragged the window to the sidewalk. It would have been gone in "a New York minute."

I've never forgotten that window. I've thought about "where have all the architectural embellishments gone?" Into landfills? Horrors!

Guess I wasn't the only person thinking about this, because there is a group called, "The Re Use People." Their Mission Statement says that they: "reduce the solid waste stream and change the way the built environment is renewed by salvaging building materials and distributing them for reuse."

What this means to you and me is that we can go down to one of their salvage warehouses and buy a salvaged door, window, cabinet, refrigerator or spiral staircase for a fraction of the original cost.

It also means that you have to be flexible and use what they have... which could be ANYTHING. Depends on what has been recently salvaged.

When my friend and I went to check out the store in Pacoima, CA, we saw some floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves, a bay window, a kitchen island, an air condition compressor, a chandelier, and doors and windows of every shape and size.

Check out their website here. There are warehouses nationally, but the majority appear to be in California.

If you are remodeling, this is a store you can't afford not to check out. You might find a stained glass window for a few dollars. Wouldn't THAT be nice?

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