It all started in 1969 when Dr Garlan Gudger starting rescuing architectural objects from buildings slated to be demolished in his local Community of Cullman Alabama. Not realizing his hidden desire of antique building materials would flourish into one of the largest stores in the nation, Dr. Gudger just consistently did what he enjoyed year after year – rescuing and restoring architectural salvage. Being ahead of his time, he knew the demand for his recycled material would not balance with the supply he was obtaining, so he started organizing the salvage into his 2 car garage. It didn’t take long for word to spread of this “Garage Collection” and the quality of antiques that were showcased. People slowly started to congregate early every Saturday morning to see Dr.Gudger’s treasures. Over time, he realized the interest of this industry was gaining momentum and opened a small shop in North Cullman. As always, his desire and years of hard work paid off as he began collecting notoriety for owning the premiere architectural salvage store in Alabama.
Next year, Dr.Gudger will be 70 years young and has accumulated more knowledge through his salvage experiences than most could fathom. Even though he isn’t doing the physical labor of the demolition anymore, his expertise and understanding of the industry are still utilized at the store everyday by his Son, Garlan Jr. If you are lucky, you can catch Dr.Gudger at the store for a few hours a day to ask him a question or just to let him tell you a story of his adventures in salvaging. Although, catching him at the store is nearly impossible! He doesn’t stay around long, because something new has taken precedence over his life long passion for architectural salvage! Something he refers to as his new passion, “Grand Children”, he says smiling……..