My husband has always had an interest in architecture. He’s a civil engineer by trade and spends his days working on environmental impact statements, project management of highways, and dealing with government entities. But, he likes good design in a building or home, especially if it’s reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe. His love of architecture moves into the realm of older homes. Things solidly built with character and style. We live in just such a home. Built in 1937 by a member of a prominent family in Evansville, Indiana, it has hard wood floors, wainscoting, wide moldings, and a maid’s room.
This love of well-built things has turned into a side business for him. He’s become an architectural salvage guy. Needless to say, his favorite TV shows are American Pickers and Salvage Dawgs. We’ve always loved to go to antique stores. While I looked at dishware and furniture, he’d look at lighting, doors, windows, and mantles. About a year and a half ago, he turned his hobby into this side business along with a friend. They’ve been demo-ing old homes in the Evansville area. Buying up items from people who would contact them and, on occasion, selling a few items. They’ve displayed at antique shows and worked at putting the word out about their business.
Their “stuff” is filling up half our garage, the garage at Kent’s office, and the storage shed at his friend’s home. The wives said, enough is enough, open a store. It has been months of looking and looking. We really didn’t think it would be so hard to find a space. This business is unique though. We need large open space and a large door to bring things in and out (claw foot tubs and mantles need wide openings!). We’d find a space and then the owner didn’t want to have our “type” of business in his building. Another location would be asking an outrageous amount for rent. Buildings within our budget didn’t offer the right kind of space.
Then, on a whim, my husband looked on line once more and found a building close to downtown. He called his agent and we went to look. It was perfect! The price was right and the owners are more concerned about getting the rent than what is in the building. It has several large open spaces and three garage doors. Bingo! fHg Architectural Salvage has a location.
We are excited to get going on this venture. A dream my husband has had for a long time to own his own business. He’ll still have his “day” job and I’ll be involved quite a bit in the running of the store. But, it’s his dream and I’m glad to see it working out for him.
Kent and Neal are busy renovating the space and moving their inventory. We hope to open at the beginning of September. As things move along, I’ll be keeping you informed of what’s happening. I think it’s an adventure worth documenting, if for nothing else, to write this down for us to look back on in the future.