March 3, 2013

Housewerks: Architectural Antiques & Salvage

Although several of my dearest friends own Housewerks, I don’t get by there as much as I used to, especially since I moved more than about a half-mile away. Over the weekend, I found myself there not just once, but twice! As much as I saw on the first visit, I found things that I’d missed when I went for the second visit.

Early 20th century steel and enamel letters.

There are dozens of cogs and wheels of all sorts. I particularly liked this sunny one.

I am particularly fascinated with these old heat registers. There are dozens of them at Housewerks, and each one is different. I’d love to do a photographic study of their graphic good looks.

This massive piece came from an old store. It has more than 80 drawers in it.

But the details are what make is special. Each drawer has a label holder, which is elegantly crafted.

I love the egg and dart trim along the top edge of the piece.

Housewerks is currently salvaging pieces from an old chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. These tubs were used to move the liquid chocolate around the factory. On the right end of this one, you can see it’s marked “fudge”.

On the second visit to Housewerks, I concentrated on looking at patterns and shapes. This is rust on an old metal desk.

Oh, the tiles! There were loads of them, each pattern better than the next. I wasn’t sure if they were mosaic or embossed, but it didn’t really matter.

How incredible is this tile pattern? Not only is each square curved, the edges of each tile are curved. I wish I had something that I could use this tile for. It’s just amazing, isn’t it?

This was salvaged from an old church. I love the timelessness of it.

This is a piece of relief in iron, but it almost looks like something from Pompeii.

I love the sculptural feeling of this old hat form. I’d put one on either side of a mantle (if I had one).

This was one of my favourite shots – just the ghost of an old wrench that someone had spray-painted.

Lots of old Anglepoise lamps.

I might have to do another post later this week to show you more of the terrific pieces of architectural antiques and salvage that I saw at Housewerks!


  1. Wow, these are great shots of architectural salvage. I particularly like the church trefoils--I would love to figure out some use for them. I also like the lamps, and I agree with you about the appeal of the wrench ghost.

    In Taiwan, I have tried to resist Chinese architectural salvage, but still have acquired probably a lot more than I should have.
    --Road to Parnassus

    1. I would love to see your Chinese Salvage!

  2. Swoooon. I am just ever so slightly obsessed with the large cabinet of drawers. I don't know if I could resist it, if I was still living in close proximity. And I sincerely hope you bought those enamel and steel letters... xxxxxxxxx

  3. I really need to go back there. I haven't been since I joined you on your shopping excursion 2 years ago. I have clients that want a steampunk style and there are so many pieces at Housewerks that they would love. Thanks for reminding me about this fantastic resource.

    1. You should definitely take your clients there!

  4. now who is documenting the dismantling of this chocolate factory??? sounds like an interesting photojournalism story if I ever heard of one. the fudge mobile wheels are cool... perhaps there was a tract it ran on -----will manufacturing ever return to the usa ? what will the gross national product be in only 20 years? If the ax continues to fall on telecommuting then the infrastructure of this country can no longer be neglected ____ the crumbling roads and bridges are crumbling due to the shelf life--- a bridge was not designed to last 30 years if the engineers intended them to last I think they would not be crumbling. Remember the unfinished bridge that collapsed how often does that happen in this country? unfinished structures collapsing what is going on when that happens graft shoddy materials clerical errors??

  5. How beautiful this whole place is + Could I resist? NO! I adore architectural salvage. More photos please.

  6. Now that my son is living in DC I will be making it down to Baltimore for something other than a lacrosse tournament! Housewerks is on the list. Also planning another trip to Brimfield this Spring and your post definitely inspired me to spend more time browsing the salvage dealers-

    1. Next time you're in the area let me know. I would love to show you around my town.

  7. I love all of these pieces. The cog really is so happy. How big is it??

  8. I need to get there again. It's fun to imagine the stories behind some of the items!

  9. The redcoats have just descended on my abdomen for their monthly siege. Thus, the only thing from this post that's clearly in focus is A HUGE TUB OF FUDGE. Excuse me while I go and weep softly in the corner.


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