Tag Archives: antique ironwork

The Value of a Story

Every architectural piece that is rescued by Southern Accents has a story and a value. The relationship between the value and the story are synonymous with one another, but are inherently different. The “story” tells of past events in the elements life or in other words, it’s evolution. After researching the story of an architectural fragment, Southern Accents also asks additional questions such as: the age, the maker, the condition, the rarity, the provenance. Combining the “story” with the researched facts of the architectural  remnant, Southern Accents can give a true “value” of the rescued item.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Salvaged iron window lintel from New York City

It is exciting for us when all the questions that are asked when finding the value and the story align to produce the highest caliber in recognizing an architectural  piece of historical significance. But this past week we obtained a true piece of architectural history from New York City. If you have been by the NYC Grand Central Terminal in the last year, you would have noticed that across the street, at One Vanderbilt Ave., there is a huge demolition / construction project in progress by the developer, SL Green. The project consists of constructing a new tower that will be taller than the Empire State building! Amazing enough in that fact alone, but the history of this monument goes much deeper! As the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family, Cornelius Vanderbilt, was the original developer of this land, where the cast iron lintel that we acquired, embellished a window of this now demolished building. The railroad/shipping tycoon, Mr. Vanderbilt, also is famed for developing the adjacent property – the Grand Central Station and Terminal. Along with all of those interesting facts, this rescued relic also shares the same architect that designed the Grand Central Station, Warren & Wetmore.

As the skyline of Midtown changes, architectural fragments, like this iron lintel, will be one of the only ways our future generations will be able see the sheer power and the bold masculinity of these destroyed historic buildings that once stood on some of the most prominent corners in our nation. The lintel is in mint condition and has aged perfectly with its crackle patina. Measuring 39″ wide x 8.25″ deep x 20.5″ tall, this was one of a few pieces saved off the original building before the demolition was finished. You can view this magnificent piece here in our showroom or take a look at it online. You’ll find it listed on our Ironworks page at sa1969.com. We #digmygig saving one historic treasure at a time!


Blacksmithing Demonstration

This past Saturday, artist Berry Allen joined us at Southern Accents for an ironwork demonstration. Berry demonstrated how he turns iron into hardware and decorative pieces for the home.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesBerry is a native of Huntsville, Alabama. He specializes in hand built clay figures, free form platters, and large metal sculptures. Berry spent four years in Birmingham specializing in blacksmithing and stone and fountain restoration before returning to Huntsville in 2006. He has been a featured artist at the Panoply Arts Festival and has had his work exhibited at the Von Braun Center Visual Arts Achievement Program. He has been project manager and part of the fountain installation team for Bridge Street in Huntsville.

Berry’s interest in blacksmithing was peaked in college when he saw liquid iron for the first time. He was introduced to it by an adjunct professor from Sloss Furnaces. Berry said that he likes having the ability to take a material that is rigid and cold and transform it by fire into something that has movement and warmth. Berry is living a lot of young boy’s dreams… he gets to play with fire every day!

When asked about his connection with Southern Accents Berry said, “I’ve been an avid shopper with SA for years. As an artist, I appreciate hand crafted products. I am intrigued by all the items that are salvaged and saved by Southern Accents. I love how so many of their salvaged goods are fashioned by hand into useful items and works of art”.

Berry Allen at Southern Accents

Thanks to everyone who stopped by Saturday. We had a great turn out to watch Berry demonstrate his skills. We’ve had a lot of great feedback and hope to have Berry back in the near future. In the mean time, you can visit Berry at his studio located between Walker Avenue and Howe Street in Huntsville or online at www.baughart.com. We will also be bringing some of Berry’s creations to our showroom soon!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


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