Tag Archives: art

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!


Stonework and Terracotta from the big cities…now in the South!

Sometimes we get in things that are very unique and have to be pre-planned for a home….meaning, you have to be prepared to use it before you start building! We got in a trailer full of stone and terracotta from Chicago and New York City. I can’t even tell you how gorgeous it is! There are some unbelievable pieces!! It’s been sitting out at the gym on pallets waiting to be unpacked and sorted and photographed!

Slowly but surely, it’s been unpacked and sorted. We brought some pieces up to the garden lot and have started the photography process. We posted several pictures yesterday to our Facebook page. The prices vary depending on size and how detailed the work is. I’ve been searching the web for photos of buildings with similar work. I found lots of Brownstones in NYC and Boston. We could just move into one of those OR figure out how to use this beautiful architecture in our own homes here in the South. I think the obvious choice is to use it as a surround for a front door. It would also be fabulous on a veranda or a pool house. Why not just pick a few pieces and create a piece of art with it? I think that is probably the easiest way for most of us to use it. Are you building a house? Come to the store and we can help you design something to make your house a unique place like no other!


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