Awesome places get demolished and modernised whether we like it or not. But have you ever wondered where some of their contents end up? In New York City, before the wrecking ball hits, a Harlem-based company called The Demolition Depot makes it their business to go in and salvage the irreplaceable pieces of a building’s architectural heritage. They’ll rescue anything from entire panelled rooms or staircases to antique door knobs or coat hooks that will sell for $5.
Showroom images (c) Cia B
It’s one of the most extensive architectural reclamation operations in the world, housing pieces of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Plaza Hotel and the Vanderbilt estates. Evan Blum is the owner of this curious wonderland and over the years has secured the salvage rights to some of the most iconic buildings undergoing renovation or destined for demolition. Since he began in the business in the 1960s, Evan has gone through so many historic houses and buildings, stripping out everything of value with a sharp eye, his showroom on East 125th street has accumulated millions of dollars worth of American architectural heritage.
Showroom images (c) Cia B
Whether you’re interested in finding a personal vintage mirror for your bathroom, an eccentric front gate for the vacation home or an entire antique bar to use as a prop on your prohibition-era movie set, the Demolition Depot is the place to find it. I went through their inventory and picked out the most unusual things for sale…
1. Entire Restaurants & Bars
This is the old Maxim’s restaurant in the Carlton House Hotel, NYC. The Art Nouveau style restaurant, bar and lounge designed by world famous French fashion designer Pierre Cardin has found a temporary home at the Demolition Depot, but wouldn’t such beauty deserve to shine like her big sister Maxim’s in Paris, France?! More info here.
2. Phone Booths
Picture far left are three joined mid 20th century cast iron British call boxes which came from the Telephone Bar in East Village, which closed down, info here. The wooden telephone box on the right is for rental only, info here.
3. Stained Glass Ceilings
Stained glass dome, restoration included in the price (upon application) info here.
This last quarter 19th century stained glass ceiling dome came from a hotel in Southern Illinois, info here.
4. A Vintage Shoe Shop
Complete with fitting booth and display cases. Browse the store interiors currently in their inventory.
Ornate c. 1900 elevator cabs that can be converted into telephone booths or unusual changing rooms for a clothing store. Call buttons and various fixtures are also for sale. The vintage freight elevator doors above are a new arrival. More info on their elevators here.
6. Commercial Signs & Clocks
Browse signs here.
Browse clocks here.
7. An Art Deco Soda Fountain & Ice Cream Parlour
A 1930’s Art Deco style soda fountain including wood cabinetry with storage cabinets, drawers and display shelves flanking a large oval mirror, formica counter and stools. Browse all ice cream parlours here and refrigerators here.
8. Doors, doors and more doors
Including a bronze Art Deco revolving door salvaged from the Brooklyn Bank (pictured above right) with exquisitely ornamented cast iron surround, pediment and integral clock. Browse all doors here.
9. A 1939 New York World’s Fair Ticket Booth
A collectible from one of the most important World’s Fairs. The iconic trylon and perisphere are depicted on either side, info here.
10. A Boat bar
Yep, a bar that’s a boat, complete with portholes and cabin for bottles, plucked from a cabana in Greenwich, CT.
And here’s one more bizarre buy for thought…
An entire staircase: “Elegant curved staircase with substantial turned newel-post and balustrade with turned spindles and paneling. Details here.