Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News

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Salvage Dawgs: How a fishing trip led to a hit reality TV show that’s shining a spotlight on the industry. Page 12

Photo courtesy DIY Network

Goodwin supplies antique cypress to Lexus Lounge.

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Tips from Barbara Israel on using architecturals in the garden.

National industry update and the latest news affecting individual companies.

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ON THE COVER: Black Dog Salvage Co-Owners and the stars of Salvage Dawgs, Robert Kulp (left) and Mike Whiteside (right).

Celebrating 25+ Years

Something to Like


It might be a particular piece of architectural ornament, a unique building being salvaged, a project using architectural antiques, or recognition for an industry professional.




Photo courtesy Preston Browning

Architectural artifacts creatively turned into something else, such as furniture. Several projects profiled through photos and descriptions.


Photo feature of a designer and their project utilizing architectural antiques and/or antique lumber and the company that rescued and supplied the materials.


‌‌ ast summer’s family ‌vacation focused on ‌ U.S. history, instead ‌of the ‌ sand, sun and ocean fun that we’ve migrated to annually for the past 14 years. No, it wasn’t some cruel plot to punish our kids or a subversive scheme to “make learning fun.” Instead, it was the boys who decided they wanted an East Coast history tour, and that’s what we did, with stops in Mystic Seaport, Conn., Boston, Philadelphia, Newport, R.I., and Lexington and Concord, Mass. It was while at Lexington and Concord, Mass., – where the first battles of The Revolutionary War took place – that I encountered a display that reminded me of architectural salvage’s importance in documenting our country’s history and its architectural heritage.





Featuring architectural artifacts outdoors and in the garden, with thoughts from an industry expert. Business openings and closings, people in the news, recent salvage projects, upcoming demolitions, materials coming to market, and who’s performing the work.

C o n cord’s North Bridge is where the Minutemen engaged in their first RICH ELLIS deadly battle with the British, and the replica bridge that stands on the original site today is a major tourist attraction. Just up the hill from the Bridge is the Buttrick Mansion, purchased by the National Park Service in 1962 and used today as a Visitor’s Center for the North Bridge. Hanging over a mantle in one of the Mansion’s rooms is a piece of the original North Bridge, recovered from the riverbed during construction of a new bridge in 1875. As this protected and preserved piece of the North Bridge





The stars of Salvage Dawgs share their thoughts on the industry and how the show began. The personalities behind the business. The Antiques Diva, and her architectural salvage buying tours.

illustrates, even in the 1800s architectural antiques’ importance in helping bridge our past and present was recognized, long before there was a thriving architectural salvage or antique meowners across the country lumber industry. and around the world. In much the same way, it’s my goal that this magazine, Together in helping precoupled with our e-newsletter and social media outreach, serve the past, serve as a bridge connecting Rich Ellis, Publisher the architectural salvage and antique lumber industries with 540.588.1258 architects, designers, and

THE DORRIS BARN Salvage Works, Portland, Ore. This beautiful pine barn was hand-built in Dorris,

PRIVACY BOOTH Restoration Resources, Boston

Ca, in 1900. On the border of Oregon and California, Northeast of Mt. Shasta, the property was operated as a mule ranch, with the mules being trained and

Photo courtesy Dina Avila

sold to the U.S. Army until sometime in the mid 20th century. Salvage Works dismantled the barn and transported the antique lumber back to their warehouse in

Portland where it would be processed and sold. The barn, and an interior installation using the company’s antique lumber, are seen in the photos above.

leather seats, foot stools, magazine racks, ashtrays and Deco style mirrors. Measuring six-feet wide by six-feet high and 41 inches deep, the wood appears to be stained pine or gumwood. These privacy booths could easily be repurposed as home theater seats, restaurant waiting booths, or computer workstations.

This “privacy booth” was salvaged by Restoration Resources recently from the Center Shoe Repair shop in Hyannis, Mass. Kostas Siempos owned the shop since the 1960’s and retired recently. The booth was built around 1939 by the Papa Bros. Bootblack Fixture Supply Co. of New York City. Customers would relax in the booth while their shoes were being repaired, resting their feet on the stool and closing the door so as not to expose their socks. The booth is in original conPhoto courtesy Yidan Gao dition, including


urora Mills Architectural Salvage in Auroro, Ore., salvaged this cupola from a dairy barn in upstate New York. Handmade from riveted sheet metal, it’s painted red on the inside and sky blue on the exterior. Making it even more eye catching is the great spinning top-esque finial at its crown. This wonderful piece of rustic early Americana, base not included, was for sale for $1,200 at Aurora Mills.

Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News | May/June 2018



esigner Emilia Callero explains her mantel project. “As a decorator, I am always looking for new and unique ways to bring life to my home. I think of my home as the “test kitchen” for trying out new ideas before passing them on to clients. When I saw this mantel at Portland, Oregon’s RebuildPhoto courtesy The Rebuilding Center ing Center I just knew it would make an excellent addition to my dining room and that it would match the fireplace in my living room perfectly. With a few hours on a Saturday, a little sanding and some paint it was the perfect DIY project. I chose to paint the mantel “Newberg Green” by Benjamin Moore to match the color of our kitchen cabinets.”


ith the addition of rails in a matching finish, this period door with original patina was repurposed to a magazine rack perfect for an office waiting area. Chris Sauer, owner of Columbus Architectural Salvage in Columbus, Ohio, created the piece. Photo courtesy Columbus Architectural Salvage

VISIT OUR NEW LOCATION OUTSIDE NASHVILLE! With more than 50 years in the construction and architectural salvage business, we recently closed our Indianapolis location and relocated Doc’s Architectural Salvation to Springfield, Tenn. With more than 80,000 square feet of clean, quality architectural antiques, we are one of the salvage industry’s leading sources for quality materials. Visit us online or in person to see why.

Doc’s Architectural Salvation is Now Open in Tennessee

Photos courtesy StudioGee Architecture, Brooklyn, N.Y.


ne of Pioneer Millworks most recent commercial installations can be seen at Whole Foods in Montgomery, Ala. The project included 3” x 6” industrial salvaged softwood timbers repurposed and assembled as light fixtures. The antique wood came from the former New York Cen-

tral Railroad Freight House in Canandaigua, N.Y. The building was dismantled in 2016 and Pioneer Millworks salvaged the planks along with other wooden materials. The Depot was built by the Hudson River Railroad in 1885 to serve as a freight depot for transportation of grapes. Still today there are lush vineyards along Canandai-

gua Lake, and in the past, the grapes were transported to the village on boats, then wagon to the depot where they were moved to trains bound for New York City. In later years, the building was made into the Outhouse Farm and Home Store, a hub of agriculture and commerce for the community.

We’re always buying quality — contact at (615) 380-8128 or Visit our new location outside Nashville: 200 East 9th Avenue, Springfield, TN 37172 Photos courtesy Columbus Architectural Salvage


200 East 9th Avenue, Springfield, TN 37172 615.380.8128


hris Sauer, owner of Columbus Architectural Salvage in Columbus, Ohio, incorporated this foundry belt wheel into a table (right). Chris also repurposed wood from a bowling alley lane for this table (above) that features bowling pins for legs. Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News | May/June 2018



By Barbara Israel

Photos courtesy Native House Photography


Photos courtesy Goodwin Company

One of the giant antique cypress logs Goodwin’s crew recovered from the river bottom.


oodwin Antique Wood, pioneers in River-Recovered antique wood, provided 3,000 square feet of their River-Recovered® Heart Cypress to the remodeled Lexus Lounge at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., home of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning. The 2,000 yearold Heart Cypress was carefully milled from logs recovered by Goodwin from Florida river bottoms. “Every tree has a story to tell, and we are extremely proud to be able to include the tremendous story of this River-Recovered® Heart Cypress wood from Goodwin in our Lexus Lounge,” says Mike O’Donnell, senior facilities project manager at the Amalie Arena. “The detail and craftsmanship are stunningly beautiful. This wood adds the perfect ‘pop’ to this world-class space.” Goodwin’s lumber was also used in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) office in Ybor City, Fla. Philip L. Trezza, Jr., AIA, LEED AP, is an architect with Florida’s Harvard Jolly Ar-

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chitecture. “I can’t say I work with it often, but I appreciate the beauty of the wood and am very intrigued by the story behind how the wood is found/discovered and repurposed,” Trezza said. “I think it’s a great model for sustainability.” Trezza specified Goodwin Company’s River-Recovered® Heart Pine precision engineered flooring for the entryAIA TAMPA BAY way to the new PRESIDENT AND c o n t e m p o r a r y ARCHITECT PHIL TREZZA office, which has been described as traditional meeting contemporary in an historic urban environment that uses antique wood to warm up a modern setting. Goodwin representatives explain that the precision engineered Heart Pine floor features the same antique wood as a traditional solid wood floor and is constructed with a durable wear layer so it can be re-finished.


hen I visited Uppark House in Petersfield, West Sussex, England, I found the most impressive feature to be a single grand urn on top of a hillside. The setting was spectacular. As I stood at the bottom of the slope looking up at the urn I felt compelled to walk toward it. I wanted to see the details and experience standing next to it. How large was it? What were the figures on it? The placement of this single classical ornament in front of a medley of evergreen and other shrubs made the hillside look imposing while, at the same time, it beckoned me forward, piquing my fascination and curiosity. In the 21st century we don't often think of using just a single piece like this to stand out in the landscape but for years it has been a well-recognized stylistic ploy. The English picturesque garden style adopted the use of a single commemorative urn in the 18th century. In the 1840s Andrew Jackson Downing, the first American landscape specialist, positively extolled the use of the urn,

or as he called it "vase," in the garden. Note that such urns were kept unplanted thereby saving the owner from the responsibility of watering! Today we tend to think of urns in pairs for either side of an entrance or a walkway but a large single urn will do very well at the end of an allée or at the intersection of two garden paths. Whether your garden is geometric or freeform in style I suggest you consider placing an urn as a focal point thereby adding a traditional dimension to your garden. Barbara Israel Garden Antiques works closely with landscape architects, designers, and private clients to find the ideal object for each individual garden. While the pri-


mary focus is on the classical ornament, they endeavor to satisfy all clients’ requests – from the most traditional to the more unexpected. With this intent, their inventory also features other significant ornamental trends, including rustic furniture, Art Moderne/Art Deco pieces, 19thcentury-revival-style objects and eclectic items – from the monumental focal piece to the perfect small flourish.

Photos courtesy Barbara Israel Garden Antiques

Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News | May/June 2018




PROVENANCE CREATING ITEMS FROM ANTIQUE LUMBER, ARCHITECTURALS Provenance Companies, a Philadelphia company specializing in architectural salvage and antique lumber, is using salvaged wood to create unique light fixtures and furniture, according to an article in Curbed – Philadelphia, an online publication. The article quotes co-owner Scott Lash as saying that the work “is a continuation of what we’ve been doing for customers on a custom basis. We’re just trying to add some more to the retail experience so people can come in and see a little more of what we’re doing.”

Junkstock bills itself as one of the largest vintage shows in the U.S. Held in Waterloo, Neb., the show features more than 200 vendors specializing in vintage, repurposed, architectural antiques and antique lumber. More information is availProvenance Companies crafted this bench from an antique heart pine beam salvaged able at from a Brooklyn warehouse.

ELEVATOR DOORS FROM LANDMARK CHICAGO BUILDING AUCTIONED ON EBAY A pair of elevator doors from Chicago’s famous Hyde Park Bank building were being auctioned by Stuart Grannen, owner of Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, according to an article in The two doors, listed on eBay for $12,000, have been part of Grannen’s personal collection for nearly three decades and he originally intended them to appear in a museum of Chicago architecture he was planning before starting Architectural Artifacts.

Photos courtesy Matt Falsetty

Provenance Companies’ new collection of desk lamps melds vintage X-ray reflectors with new bases. This lamp features an emerald green shade with silver interior and an articulated arm. Lined in mercury glass, each shade emits a silvery halo of light, accompanied by a twist of houndstooth cord and red rocker switch. A radio-style incandescent bulb provides an authentic retro look. $400.

NEW ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE COMPANY OPENS IN MISSISSIPPI Pine Belt Architectural Salvage opened recently in Hattiesburg, Miss. Mike Essary is the business owner. More information about Pine Belt is available on the company’s Facebook page or by calling 601-408-1917.

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CROSS CREEK AUCTIONS INVENTORY AFTER SELLING RETAIL LOCATION TO INVESTOR Cross Creek Architectural Artifacts in Springfield, Mo., held an auction in late August to sell its remaining inventory of architectural antiques. Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News reported previously that owner Mike Hill had sold the 5,000 square-foot facility and two-acre yard after being approached by an investor interested in the property. The auction was conducted by Bob Kollmeier Auctions, and Hill has since retired. An article in the The Springfield News Leader quoted Hill as saying that Cross Creek’s annual revenue exceeded $1 million during its best years. A message posted on the company’s Facebook page Sept. 1, read, “Thanks to everyone that attended the auction last weekend! We had a great turnout and everything went fast! As of today, our Guinevere St. showroom and warehouse is officially closed. We will continue to offer reclaimed beams, flooring and brick on a wholesale level. Feel free to message


stepped down after 10 years in the position. The Foundation reopened its salvage operation, with one news report stating that the operation has Ron Pike recently opened Castle “achieved incredible results in just INDIANAPOLIS SALVAGER Architectural Salvage in Northampton, two short years.” RELOCATES TO NASHVILLE Maine. Pike is the owner and said the Doc’s Architectural Salvage has inventory comes primarily from the FLORIDA ARCHITECTURAL relocated its Indianapolis location New England region and that his customers include homeowners, designers, SALVAGE COMPANY to Springfield, Tenn., near Nashville. and restaurant and bar owners. BUILDING FIRST LEED Owner Doc Keys held an auction at TINY HOUSE the Indianapolis location Oct. 16 and FURNITURE 17 to sell items that weren’t moved to the new location. The 35,000-square- RESTORATION PROGRAM AT Photo courtesy EcoRelics foot warehouse is located at 200 East SALVAGER WILL 9th Avenue in Springfield. Keys’ son BENEFIT CRIME VICTIMS and daughter-in-law – Little Doc and American Architectural Salvage Lindsay Keys – own Little Doc’s Arin Mount Pleasant, Penn., recently chitectural Salvage in Indianapolis. began a program that has juvenile offenders who owe both community service and restitution restoring and Reach more potential selling furniture which is then sold buyers. Sell more through the architectural salvage inventory. Reserve store. The proceeds will go into a your space by June 30. restitution fund that benefits crime Eco Relics’ LEED tiny house built from victims. American Architectural Sal- salvaged materials. The third annual Guide to Architectural vage’s profits are fed to its parent Salvage & Antique Lumber Companies charities – Westmoreland Community is one of the most cost-effective ways to The U.S. Green Building Council Action, Fayette Community Action, expose your business to the buyers who Florida (USGBC Florida), Eco Relics and Community Action Southwest. matter – architects, interior designers, and Norsk Tiny Houses partnered to homeowners, and retail designers in build the first Leadership in Energy the U.S. and internationally. CHANGES AT FOUNDATION’S and Environmental Design (LEED) cerARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE tified tiny home in the U.S., and maybe Contact Rich Ellis for details. the world. “Eco Relics is just absoluteOPERATION 540.588.1258 ly thrilled to be a part of this project Legacy Architectural Salvage because it embodies the real essence in Wilmington, N.C., recently an- and values of our business,” said AnGuide to nounced that Deborah Helms has nie Murphy, co-founder of Eco Relics. Architectural Salvage been hired as the assistant manager The architectural salvage company is & Antique Lumber of the Foundation’s salvage opera- located in Jacksonville, Fla., and more Companies tion. Separately, the Foundation’s Ex- information about them is available at ecutive Director George Edwards has us on this page if you have interest in those items or are looking for anything in particular!”

Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News | May/June 2018






Sally Kamprath, owner of ReHouse Architectural Salvage in Rochester, N.Y., announced the company had purchased “the entire fabulous inventory of the ReStore of Philadelphia.” ReHouse staff made numerous trips to Philadelphia to pack and load ReStore’s 6,000feet of inventory. Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News had reported previously that ReStore’s owner, Linda Mellish, was interested in selling the business. The Philadelphia ReStore was not affiliated with Habitat for Humanity which operates a chain of used building material stores by the same name across the country. reports that Larry Giles still has plans to build a museum for architectural antiques in St. Louis and that Giles believes his collection of building ornament is the largest. A plan that has been decades in the making, Giles’ collection now includes more than 300,000 items packed in nearly 1,500-plus wooden crates stored inside industrial buildings in nearby Illinois. Curbed quotes Giles as saying, “It’s a big collection,

without a doubt, the largest that I’m aware of, and the idea was to develop it as a comprehensive study collection.” Giles’ collection filled 650 semi trailers when it was moved to the property he bought where the items are stored today.

PENNSYLVANIA SALVAGE WAREHOUSE MOVES TO NEW LOCATION Historic Gettysburg/Adams County’s Architectural Salvage Warehouse moved to a new location and is now located at Daniel Lady Farm, 986 Hanover Road, in Gettysburg, Penn.

(From left) Linda Mellish, owner of the now-closed ReStore, and Sally Kamprath, owner of ReHouse Architectural Salvage.

continued from page 6 —


PASADENA, Calif. – Pasadena Architectural Salvage, owned by Gayle Stoner, and Architectural Detail, owned by Janice and Skip Willett, now share a 10,000-square-foot building at 2600 East Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena. “We sold the old building and moved last June,” Stoner says. “Skip happened to be looking for a new place at the same time, and we had always talked about doing something together anyway if we could find a good space.” The two businesses remain separate entities. “It’s been good for both of us as some of his customers come to us for some stuff, and vice versa,” Stoner says. “It helps when we demo a house because we both want something out of it and it helps with overhead.” NEW YORK CITY – Olde Good Things, the architectural salvager with locations in New York City, Pennsylvania and California, is looking for new business opportunities. In an email from company president Kevin Browne that was making its rounds in the salvage industry in late March, the company said its business had continued to grow and as a result they were looking for ways to invest capital and were Early Stief player piano. soliciting ideas1900’s and potential partnerships from the salvage industry and Needs minor repairs. Located near Roanoke, Va. customers. Interested parties were asked to call Kevin at 212-989-8401.

Photos courtesy ReHouse

Three trips and three-and-a-half tractor trailer loads later and the inventory from Philadelphia’s ReStore – pictured here – was in its new home at ReHouse Architectural Salvage.

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TAMPA, Fla. – Josh White has opened Tampa Bay Salvage. He previContact Steve at 540.387.6482 ously was in business with his brother Matt and father at New Jersey’s or Recycling The Past. Josh said he’s always wanted to branch out and do his own thing as his own boss. He chose Florida for several reasons, including the limited competition there, the warmer climate, and the fact that his wife is originally from Florida. He is actively seeking a retail location and presently selling through

Warehouse sales support HGAC’s ongoing preservation efforts.

WORKSHOP TEACHES ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE TRADE TO BEGINNERS The Herald Tribune reported that Sarasota Architectural Salvage, owned by Jesse White, in Sarasota, Fla., held its first “Salvage Lab” in late August. Described as a “Weekend Salvage Warrior Training Program,” the two-day, $100-course taught beginner salvagers how to safely remove materials for reuse from buildings via hands-on training at a nearby building.

industry update

the biggest surprise related to the show is just how many people watch TV, and that, “if they like something, they will support it and travel long distances to meet the show’s personalities in person.”

Photos courtesy Black Dog Salvage

“Good things happen when you’re fishing and drinking.”


hat’s how Mike Whiteside describes the origin for the DIY Network’s hit reality TV show, Salvage Dawgs, starring Whiteside and Robert Kulp, coowners of Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Va., and their crew. Now in its ninth season, Whiteside explained that he and Ted Ayers, part of the salvage crew and a show regular, were fishing with Bill Hayes, president of Figure 8 Films, whose show credits include Sister Wives, Kate Plus Eight and numerous other hits. “We dared Bill to make a pilot episode, he took the bet, and now here we are, starting filming on season nine,” Whiteside said.

LOOKING FOR A BUYER The show’s success didn’t happen overnight, however. “It was hard to get a bite – the production company pitched it to all the networks,” Whiteside explained. “No one wanted it. It seemed to be a ‘guys’ show’ – tearing up stuff

and a rough and tumble salvage business, and that may have given them some trouble selling it.”

“A lot of people are interested in the upcycling movement so it’s a good time for reuse” All that began to change with the help of Trailblazer Studios, an Emmy-winning, full-service entertainment, production, post-production, and sound studio headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. “Trailblazer said, ‘how about we repackage this with a little bit different spin on it?,” Robert Kulp recalls. “They did, and sold it to Scripps Network for their DIY Network.” Before Salvage Dawgs, Kulp said he and Whiteside had been approached every three months or so for years by various production companies interested in creating a show.

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“I would bet that a lot of people in the business have heard the same spiel before,” Kulp explains. “It’s always nice to hear at first, and then you hear how much it’s going to cost you and you realize it’s about advertising. And there’s nothing wrong with paid advertising – we’ve used it quite a bit over the years because you have to find customers.”

THE SECRET TO SUCCESS Kulp and Whiteside attribute the show’s enduring success to a variety of factors, including the camaraderie be-

tween the two stars, friends, and business partners, humor, history, adventure and the buildings being salvaged. “And it’s a family show,” Whiteside says, “which is one of the things that’s been a real positive for us – any generation can watch it without the threat of us saying something off-color.” “And a lot of people are interested in the upcycling movement so it’s a good time for reuse,” Kulp explains, “but of course we’ve been doing it for 18-plus years.” Kulp adds that for him,

LIFE LESSONS Becoming reality TV stars and the architectural salvage industry’s defacto celebrities taught the duo a few lessons along the way. When asked if there was anything he would have done differently related to the show, Whiteside didn’t hesitate to say, only

Salvage Dawgs stars, from left to right, Ted Ayers, Mike Whiteside, Robert Kulp, Grayson Goldsmith, and Tay Whiteside.

half jokingly, “Ask for more money!” “You don’t use reality TV to make money,” Whiteside went

on to explain. “What Robert and I can use this for is a marketing platform for Black Dog Salvage, and in doing

Seeking Salvage Jobs

to feature in the documentary-style series Salvage Dawgs. Looking to collaborate with fellow architectural salvage companies to film and positively tell the story of saving valuable pieces of history from the landfill. Contact: Grayson Goldsmith salvage

WE BUY AND SELL RECLAIMED BRICK AND STONE! Contact us today to discuss.

(319) 354-5251 | An episode of Salvage Dawgs being filmed.

that, the show has accomplished its goal.” And while the show has helped elevate Black Dog’s platform, getting to this point hasn’t been without its challenges when trying to balance running an active salvage business with the demands of filming. “Operationally, it’s a challenge because the animal has to be fed and that requires salvage jobs,” Kulp explains. “Five years ago, as an aggressive salvage company we might have done five to eight salvages a year – max. Now we do 26 a year. It’s hard to do the work, both on the people in the front making the deals and on the people doing the salvaging.” Whiteside agreed, and added that for him, the show is another fulltime job, in addition to the one he already has at Black Dog. “Finding interesting jobs that really intrigue us is another challenge,” Whiteside

adds. “There’s a ton of old houses out there that aren’t really terribly sexy.” Both Whiteside and Kulp are looking to partner more with other salvage companies across the country and work together on jobs that will be part of the show, like they have previously with Columbus Architectural Salvage, Recycling The Past, and Second Chance. “For companies we partner with, the value is bringing an awareness to their business and to the loss of architectural elements,” Whiteside explains. “When a building is coming down, we are the last stop,” Kulp adds. “There are a lot of companies out there saving things that need to be saved. The people in this industry are doing the right thing. They and their companies need to be promoted and portrayed in a positive light.”

Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News | May/June 2018




he Antiques Diva & Company bills itself as the “world’s largest antiques touring company” offering antiques buying tours and sourcing services in 15 countries to both private individuals – tourists – and to the trade – antique dealers and interior designers. The company also offers architectural salvage buying tours in Europe and Asia, and will soon offer them in the United States as well. Toma Clark Haines is the Antiques Diva, as well as the company’s founder and CEO. She shares her thoughts on the company’s architectural salvage tours and its beginnings. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THE COMPANY?

Toma Clark Haines: The Antiques Diva & Company began as a hobby that spiraled out of control. Nearly 20 years ago as a young American bride living in Paris, my hobby was flea marketing. Each weekend I would peruse the stalls of the famous Marche aux Puce de Paris. However when living in Paris, one only has so much space – and so much money – to spend on antiques. My friends quickly realized I had a knack for finding treasures, and that because the dealers knew me, I always got a good deal – better prices than

my friends would get if they shopped on their own. The dealers quickly realized I had a lot of friends, and my friends had money. When I would show up in a stall, they would open a bottle of champagne, and one day as a joke I quipped, “And that’s why they call me The Antiques Diva.” And a lifestyle brand was born – a shopping sack in one hand, champagne glass in the other. We officially launched as a company in 2007 when my blog, affectionately titled The Antiques Diva after that day in the market, started receiving emails from readers wanting me to take them on buying tours. These readers weren’t tourists or friends, but rather antique dealers and interior designers. They were seeking the best sources for antiques in Europe, and at the time, my blog was the only blog discussing this subject on an international level. A business was born when I finally agreed to take a reader to my sources. The business boomed when I realized that I quite simply didn’t know enough, but rather I knew a lot. As demands came in for more and more different styles, I needed more local connections and I called up my friends to help me source. One friend had worked at Sotheby’s, another had her masters in fine arts. They were locals in their


Photos courtesy of The Antiques Diva & Company

Toma Clark Haines, founder and CEO of The Antiques Diva & Company.

regions and they had a level of long-term relationships with dealers that I didn’t have. What started as a one-woman firm grew, and we became The Antiques Diva & Co. In nine years we’ve grown to 31 people in 15 different countries. WHEN AND WHY DID YOU ADD ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE TOURS AS ONE OF YOUR COMPANY’S OFFERINGS?

Toma Clark Haines: The first client who approached me for architectural salvage was Australian and it must have been 2009. She wanted antique bricks to pave her driveway. I was perplexed – I’d never had anyone ask me for building supplies, but I contacted a friend who had a small assortment of fireplaces in the back room of his antiques store and I asked his ad-

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vice. Three days later I found myself driving my Mercedes SUV to salvage yard after salvage yard on the back roads of Belgium and France, and a new addiction was born. The South of France and the Cognac region came on my radar and England and Italy soon there after. But that first day – seeking sources for bricks – I realized 17th, 18th, and 19thcentury Flemish bricks had amazing patina and that one could tell the region by the color. But these salvage yards had more than bricks – they had balustrades and grand stone steps and terraces, Versailles parquet from France and limestone that would make your heart skip. As I would walk through these dissected chateaus laid out like pieces of a puzzle, I realized you could make a new home old, and in

America, where most of my clients come from, it gave access to an entirely new way of living. At The Antiques Diva & Co. our mission has always been to make antiques modern, sexy and fun, but most of all our goal was to make antiques accessible. Our sources become clients’ sources. My first big architectural salvage client in Europe was starting a new store specializing in American architectural salvage and she wanted to vary her inventory. Three container loads and about 250,000 Euro later I had been educated in the best way possible – by doing. We found entire 18th-century painted Boiserie rooms from France, a neo-gothic cathedral ceiling from Holland and more chateau doors than humanly possible.

Toma Clark Haines: The way the business has changed over the years is that while we still visit these same salvage yards, I now have a team of pickers – contacts in the French and Italian countryside I can call upon when I need something special. At the moment, we’re seeking a gloriette in a septagonal form, supported on shaped corbels for a garden in New Jersey, and in Houston we have a request for an entire structure from a chateau that will be used as a pool house. When we couldn’t find the exact type of structure my client wanted, we merely had our client send the renderings and we worked with a local salvage yard to put the elements together – two doorways in annex, cobblestones to construct the walls, a mantle piece and limestone flooring. Ultimately we suggested the roof moldings could be custom made in the same stone and aged but the window frames sourced were straight from a chateau. As our contacts have improved, we’re able to offer our clients more services. When we launched in Asia last year one of the first things I told

my local colleagues was that we needed architectural sources. The first place my local guide took me for an introduction had 16 100- to 150-year old Rice Barns reassembled, waiting to be dismantled and shipped around the globe. WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS AND WHY ARE THEY BOOKING TOURS TO FIND ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE?

Toma Clark Haines: First and foremost, it’s antique dealers seeking to decorate their stores or stalls – making their interior ambiance a historically correct backdrop. In addition to dealers with permanent shops, many of these are also dealers who set up across America at various antique fairs and need to create mobile ambiance. I will add into this category furniture manufacturers who have showrooms in various design centers around the U.S., including High Point, N.C., and are buying

architectural salvage for the same reason. Second, it’s interior designers working on complete house renovations. Frenchcarved paneling for bedrooms and libraries is popular. 18th-century limestone fireplaces for interior and exterior are in high demand. To a lesser degree are bathrooms, with giant neoclassical marble soaking tubs being a frequent request. Third it’s landscape architects seeking elements to do the gardens or developers seeking a unifying theme. We had a developer doing an estate called Dovecot and they needed 12 dovecots to complete each structure on the property. Fourth, developers are perhaps one of my most important clients. They don’t buy often, but when they buy it’s a 100,000-square-foot paneled library sourced from an Italian villa – massive projects with massive rooms for public spaces in hotels. As far as location of our clients – Texas,

Architectural antiques Haines discovers on her salvage tours.

salvage dealers to make the introduction. They have the most buying power and the greatest number of pickers. If they don’t have what my clients are looking for they have the network to spread the word DESCRIBE YOUR quickly. And because TYPICAL CLIENT’S we have good relationBUYING ACTIVITY. ships with the salvage dealers and bring them Toma Clark Haines: repeat business, if they Our typical client is don’t have the source a trade buyer, book- but know who does they ing three to five days make intros to their on tour and spending competitors, helping between $45K and further expand our $100K filling a 40-foot network. The better container of antiques sources we have, the and architecturals. We more clients we get, also do get complete ar- and the better referchitectural buyers. For rals we give. example, we have a client building a theme HAVE YOU park entirely with sal- CONDUCTED ANY U.S. vaged goods – I think TOURS SPECIFICALLY we’ve shipped four con- FOR ARCHITECTURAL tainers so far this year SALVAGE YET? for them. Toma Clark Haines: ARE YOU TAKING Our U.S. antiques tours BUYERS TO have launched and we ARCHITECTURAL will be doing architecSALVAGE COMPANIES tural salvage tours but IN EUROPE AND ASIA? aren’t offering them yet. It takes time to build Toma Clark Haines: the right relationships, Yes. When a client comes on tour we take and in general, I work them to architectural through word of mouth. Texas, Texas! California, New York, and Sydney, Australia, also top the list. Connecticut, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Utah, and Colorado come into play to a lesser extent.

Architectural Salvage & Antique Lumber News | May/June 2018




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fishing trip ½ page a hit reality w that’s $791 g a spotlight industry. full page


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the trend: New salvage continue to open, and y’re all listed here.

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Exquisite furniture made from old

Is this the salvager to the stars?

buildings – Rustbelt Reclamation’s His client list is a veritable Homeowners putting Cleveland on the map. who’s who of heavy hitters. Page X Architects Page X Designers Architectural salvage and antique lumber industry professionals

ch Ellis, Publisher 40-588-1258