Tag Archives: historic home

Salvage Project Video/Picture Tour

Last week we posted a video tour of one of our latest salvage projects, an 1884 Second Empire style house in South Carolina. You can view the YouTube video here.

We have begun a process of documenting our salvage projects in an effort to preserve the memory of these structures for future generations. Part of our documentation process includes lots of photographs! Since posting the video, we have had numerous requests for photos. Here’s a few of the photos used in the video along with descriptions. Enjoy!

1884 Empire Style structure with 1920's Neo-Classical additions

1884 Empire Style structure with 1920’s Neo-Classical additions

The house has been unoccupied for approximately 10 years

The house has been unoccupied for approximately 10 years

Remains of what use to be a formal garden can be seen from this side view of the house

Remains of what use to be a formal garden can be seen from this side view of the house

Approximately 1 year ago, the house received significant damage when several large trees fell on top of it

Approximately 1 year ago, the house received significant damage when several large trees fell on top of it

In addition to the main house, the 6 acre lot includes a tea house and well house.

In addition to the main house, the 6 acre lot includes a tea house and well house.

The tea house served as the focal point of many garden parties and festivals that were held on the property

The tea house served as the focal point of many garden parties and festivals that were held on the property

Inside view of the tea house

Inside view of the tea house

Well house

Well house

This small structure housed the very first fire hydrant to be installed in  the area

This small structure housed the very first fire hydrant to be installed in the area

Front foyer.

Front foyer.

One of two keeping rooms located at the front of the house

One of two keeping rooms located at the front of the house

Second keeping room

Second keeping room

Family room located on the ground floor

Family room located on the ground floor

Ground floor bedroom

Ground floor bedroom

Ground floor bath

Ground floor bath

Formal dining room. The dark spots on the wallpaper is mold

Formal dining room. The dark spots on the wallpaper is mold

The original kitchen was detached from the house. This kitchen was added, probably in the 1920's, when other changes/additions to the house were made

The original kitchen was detached from the house. This kitchen was added, probably in the 1920’s, when other changes/additions to the house were made

This was originally an open breezeway between the house and the original kitchen. The breezeway was later enclosed.

This was originally an open breezeway between the house and the original kitchen. The breezeway was later enclosed.

This kitchen, original to the house,  was once detached

This kitchen, original to the house, was once detached

Cellar

Cellar

Stairway leading to the second story

Stairway leading to the second story

Second story hallway

Second story hallway

One of six second story bedrooms

One of six second story bedrooms

Bedroom

Bedroom

One of two upstairs baths

One of two upstairs baths

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bath

Bath

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

This room was once a nursery but was later turned into a library room

This room was once a nursery but was later turned into a library room

Stairs leading to the attic

Stairs leading to the attic

The attic

The attic

In this corner of the attic you can see an exposed area from where the house was damaged.

In this corner of the attic you can see an exposed area from where the house was damaged.

Room off of the attic and stairway leading to the upper room

Room off of the attic and stairway leading to the upper room

Upper room. From this room you can see the back side of the slate roof tiles.

Upper room. From this room you can see the back side of the slate roof tiles.

Remains of what use to be a playhouse

Remains of what use to be a playhouse

Two door garage

Two door garage

Remains of the entrance to the root cellar

Remains of the entrance to the root cellar

Brick chimney on the back side of the property which we believe is the only remains of what use to be the help's quarters

Brick chimney on the back side of the property which we believe is the only remains of what use to be the help’s quarters

The SA Team on our first visit to Spartanburg

The SA Team on our first visit to Spartanburg

Photography by Lisa Jones. All photos copyright 2015, Southern Accents Architectural Antiques. All rights reserved.


Minton Pictorial Tiles

Occasionally we run across an item that shines amongst all the dirt, dust and debris of being on site of an architectural salvage job. The item that shined the brightest on our latest salvage mission was a set of 19th century sepia-toned ceramic tiles. This set of pictorial tiles was installed as a fireplace surround in what once was the elegant keeping room in a majestic home.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The tiles were fabricated by Minton China Works, Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, England. This well known manufacturer was originated by Thomas Minton in 1793. Through the years the very successful company grew and expanded at the helm of several generations of Mintons. Thomas’s son Herbert, who succeeded his father, not only developed new production techniques, but also enlisted the services of artists and skilled artisans which helped establish the company as the most famed and prolific manufacturer of ceramics and china for most of the Victorian Era. Minton tiles were used in countless prestigious buildings and homes.

The Minton tiles that we were able to salvage were simply stunning and in great condition. Because this Minton set did not combine to create a larger scene, like most American tile sets, the tiles were perfect collector pieces. Each 6″ x 6″ glazed tile was a work of art.

Each of these tiles have already found a new home! We can’t wait to receive pictures from their new owners showing us how these lovely tiles are being displayed!


Greenville Salvage Mission

Southern Accents latest salvage mission took us to Greenville, Alabama to this fantastic 1890’s house. The house, which has been vacant for a few years, featured some of the very best craftsmanship that we have seen to date. Amongst the dust, chippy paint, and attic full of bats, were splendid columns topped with spectacular plaster ionic capitals, tiled fireplaces with white oak and mahogany mantels, cast iron surrounds, large solid wood doors and diamond paned windows just waiting to be rescued! And the wood… from the sky blue bead board on the porch ceiling to the magnificent heart pine flooring, the wood that lay in this house was simply amazing!

The 1890's house in Greenville, Alabama contained some of the finest workmanship that we've ever seen.

The 1890’s house in Greenville, Alabama contained some of the finest workmanship that we’ve ever seen.

Every salvage mission that we embark on is different from the one before. Old houses especially seem to speak to us, each one in it’s own unique voice, as if it has a story to tell. Upon entering this house, each of our team members felt a sense of peace. This particular house gave off a “happy” vibe. While salvaging the property, we had the opportunity to visit with two sisters who grew up in the house. As they walked with us through each room, they fondly shared with us some of their memories. They remembered moving in to the house as young children. Their parents had reached an agreement with the owner, an elderly widower who needed someone to assist in taking care of him. The couple and their four young daughters lived in the three bedroom one bath house and, in return, they cared for the owner until his death. Not having any family to leave the house to, the owner sold the property to the family for $10 before his passing.

This beautiful house is one that we would have loved to see restored.

This beautiful house is one that we would have loved to see restored.

Southern Accents mission is to rescue, restore, and repurpose architectural elements of historical significance. It is never our goal to destroy a property. We only come on the scene once a building has been scheduled for demolition by the property owner. This house is one that we would love to have seen restored. We are, however, thankful to have been given the opportunity to salvage all the beautiful architectural elements from this house before it was taken down. In our continued preservation efforts, we are documenting this salvage mission. We pictured this property before beginning any salvage efforts. We also had our in-house architect take measurements, draw blueprints and are currently researching for more history and information on the property. We will be taking all of this information and publishing it on our website and blog as well as keeping a printed copy in our showroom. This is our way of ensuring that information on this magnificent house is available for future generations to enjoy, just as the items salvaged from this house will be enjoyed for many years by their new owners.

The heart pine wood flooring throughout this house was gorgeous.

The heart pine wood flooring throughout this house was gorgeous.

Please visit our New Arrivals page to view many of the remaining items salvaged from this house.

These spectacular interior columns are topped with plaster ionic capitals

These spectacular interior columns are topped with plaster ionic capitals

The wrap around porch showcased more columns topped with plaster ionic capitals and a gorgeous sky blue painted porch ceiling.

The wrap around porch showcased more columns topped with plaster ionic capitals and a gorgeous sky blue painted porch ceiling.

This spectacular white oak mantel was one of five that we salvaged from the Greenville house.

This spectacular white oak mantel was one of five that we salvaged from the Greenville house.

Tin spire salvaged from the top of the Greenville house.

Tin spire salvaged from the top of the Greenville house.

Written by: Lisa Jones


Front Porch Ceiling Blues

Southern Accents most recent salvage mission found us tearing out a beautiful powder blue porch ceiling from an 1890’s house in South Alabama. As we began posting pictures of this beautiful wood, we received several comments regarding the paint color of the wood. We had heard a number of tales regarding the blue porch ceilings and decided to do a little research which uncovered three very interesting theories!

Blue porch ceiling from 1890's house in Greenville, Alabama

Blue porch ceiling from 1890’s house in Greenville, Alabama

1) The tradition of painting porch ceilings the color blue seems to have originated in the South as a spiritual and cultural custom. Folk lore states that the blue color was first used by African slaves to secure the entry of their homes. This color was supposed to protect both their home and it’s inhabitants from “haints.” Haints are restless spirits of the dead who have not moved on from this physical world. The belief was that the color blue represented water, which spirits could not cross over. Not only were the porch ceilings painted blue, but often the frames of doors and windows as well. It was also believed that the blue color extended the daylight hours, thus scaring away the evil spirits. Southerners specifically have held to this tradition through the years. In the South Carolina Lowcountry, there is a name for the specific color of blue used on the porch ceilings. It is called “haint blue.”

2) Another widely held belief was that the blue color repelled insects. For years, many believed that the light blue color fooled the insects into thinking that the porch ceiling was the sky, thus preventing them from nesting there. Although there is no evidence to indicate that this was sound reasoning, the blue color paint contained lye, which is a known insect repellent. The lye paint would fade quickly so the wood was supposed to be repainted every year. It is feasible that the lye in the paint acted as an insecticide that helped ward off bugs and spiders, thus giving credibility to this theory.

3) The blue porch ceilings are especially common to Victorian houses, which are known for using the soft color tones of nature. Soft shades of blue have a calming effect which lends itself perfectly to what was typically everyone’s favorite spot in the house… the front porch!

The Southern Accents team salvaging this beautiful blue porch ceiling from an 1890's house in Greenville, Alabama.

The Southern Accents team salvaging this beautiful blue porch ceiling from an 1890’s house in Greenville, Alabama.

Although we will never know for sure why the porch ceiling that we just salvaged was painted blue, the wood is gorgeous and the beautiful blue color makes for a very interesting story. This wood has been delivered to our wood warehouse where it will be de-nailed and made ready for it’s next purpose. Stop by our wood warehouse to view our large collection of salvaged wood or stop by our showroom in historic downtown Cullman, Alabama and speak with one of our sales representatives.

Written by: Lisa Jones


Sentimental Treasures – Preserving History

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesRecently Southern Accents salvaged an 1870’s house in Cullman, Alabama. The attic of the house was filled with memorabilia. There were boxes of old journals, letters, greeting cards, and photographs. Many dated as early as the 1920’s. We could not help but wonder why these items were left. Were there no family members available that might have had an interest in some of the personal belongings? We could not bring ourselves to leave the items behind or throw them away so we brought them back to the store. The letters, cards, and pictures were placed in various containers and displayed around the showroom.

A couple of weeks ago a family member of one of our team members was visiting from out of town. As Chris Garcia browsed through the showroom, she was both drawn to and fascinated by the letters and photos. She gathered up all that remained and took them with her. Her initial goal was to create something from the memorabilia that would honor this family. She wasn’t sure what she would do, she just knew that she could not leave these items behind either.

After returning home, Chris lovingly poured through all the old letters, one at a time. In reading them she happened upon one from 2008 from a family member. The letter, addressed to the now deceased home owner, Eda Schlichting, was written by a man, thanking his aunt for letting him see some old pictures. This letter caused Chris to wonder if there might possibly be a distant relative interested in the items. Chris began a search on the internet for the author of the letter. Chris writes, “My first contact was not the correct person, but what I found on the other line was a wonderful, helpful woman who brought out the phone book and found the family relative I was looking for.” Chris said that she then nervously made a phone call that connected her with Eda’s relative, a Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson’s grandfather was married to Eda’s sister. The phone conversation led to his sharing how he drove his mother from Montgomery to Cullman in 2008 to visit her sister. It was during that visit that Eda shared the photos that resulted in the thank you letter.

Chris writes, “I will be mailing the box of letters, journals, and photos to him this week. I am so grateful this touched me so deeply and that the family will have their photos with them to pass on for generations.” Mr. Wilson had wondered about the fate of the old photos and was surprised that a complete stranger had taken the time to track him down. He shared with Chris his interest in his family’s genealogy and expressed how grateful he was to be receiving the items.

Although, the heart of our business is to rescue architectural antiques, we always understand the importance of the re-connection of our salvageable items back to the original family it belonged to. The sentimental value of an item means it will be protected and treasured more in the future than it would have been in a home we could have provided for it. In the case of Eda Schlichting and Chris Garcia – it proves there is an underlying truth, which resonates through generations – even those who may have never even met: The People Who Preserve History Are Just As Important As Those Who Make It.


History Recorded

Southern Accents has taken our mission to rescue, restore and protect architectural elements of historical significance to a new level. With our latest salvage project, a 1901 historical house in our hometown of Cullman, Alabama, we have started a new process of documentation. Before our salvage operation began, we had our photographer take interior and exterior pictures of the property. We then had our in house architect take measurements and draw blueprints. During the salvage process we worked to gather as much history on the house as possible. Once our salvage efforts were complete, we had our photographer return for documentation of the final demolition.

This black and white picture shows the Hays house in it's glory days!

This black and white picture shows the Hays house in it’s glory days!

As any preservationist knows, regardless of how a building is taken down, once it is gone it is soon forgotten. Our young children, for example, will never drive through downtown Cullman and remark, “remember the old Hays house that used to sit on that lot” because they will not remember. Our goal in documenting a structure that we salvage is to record its history, therefore preserving its memory for future generations. As we have stated many times in the past, it is never our intent to demolish any building. We come on the scene in an effort to salvage as many architectural elements as possible from a structure that has already been scheduled for demolition by the property owner. Through our salvage efforts, architectural items can be reused or re-purposed and given a new life. Our salvage operation, coupled with our documentation, can help ensure that lovely old houses and buildings are remembered for many years to come, their stories recorded and preserved.

An archived picture of the historic Hays house.

An archived picture of the historic Hays house.

In the coming weeks all of our pictures, information and drawings of the historical Hays house will be compiled, organized, and placed in book form to be printed and bound. A bound copy will be kept in our showroom. We will also publish this information online via our website and blog. To our knowledge we are the only salvage company that has taken on the task of documenting a salvage operation to this degree. If you would like to read more about the Hays house and view additional pictures, please read our “Hometown Salvage Mission” blog post.

The historic Hays house received significant tornado damage in April of 2011. This picture was taken shortly before salvage operations began in the fall  of 2013.

The historic Hays house received significant tornado damage in April of 2011. This picture was taken shortly before salvage operations began in the fall of 2013.

Southern Accents in house architect drew this blueprint showing the front of the historic Hays house.

Southern Accents in house architect drew this blueprint showing the front of the historic Hays house.

This drawing from Southern Accents in house architect depicts the back of the house.

This drawing from Southern Accents in house architect depicts the side of the house.

Once all salvage operations to the interior of the house were complete, the final demolition work began. A cloud of dust rises from the rubble as the machines begin to slowly tear down the walls.

Once all salvage operations to the interior of the house were complete, the final demolition work began. A cloud of dust rises from the rubble as the machines begin to slowly tear down the walls.

During the final stages of the demolition work, the last few exterior architectural pieces were recovered with the help of the backhoe.

During the final stages of the demolition work, the last few exterior architectural pieces were recovered with the help of the backhoe.

The remaining walls begin to crumble

The remaining walls begin to crumble

This now empty lot was the final resting place for the Hays house. All that remains are tire tracks and a few scattered pieces of rubble.

This now empty lot was the final resting place for the Hays house. All that remains are tire tracks and a few scattered pieces of rubble.


Hometown Salvage Mission

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques We are getting ready to begin our next salvage project… one that is practically in our own back yard. Work will begin this week salvaging architectural elements from the historical Luther Hays house in Cullman, Alabama.

The house was built in 1901 by Dr. Luther Hays and his wife Ethel, affectionately called “Dolly”, by her loving husband. Dr. Hays moved to Cullman with his parents in 1878. Upon graduating from the University of Alabama Mobile Medical School, Luther entered the US Army Hospital Corps and served in the Spanish – American War. He then furthered his education at Grant Medical School, returning to Cullman in 1901 to establish his medical practice. Dr. Hays initially set up an office above the old People’s Drug Store, eventually moving it to an upstairs room in his home. When not seeing patients in his home office, Dr. Hays would travel by horseback and treat patients in their own homes.

The Hays house was acquired a few years ago by the Cullman County Historical Society who began renovations in an effort to preserve it. The Historical Society dedicated the house as their new headquarters in November of 2010. A short six months later, the house was severely damaged by the devastating tornados that ravaged downtown Cullman. The F4 tornado that ripped through our community in April of 2011 destroying many homes and businesses, took its toll on the Hays house. The amount of damage done was insurmountable and the cost of restoring the house not financially feasible for the Historical Society. The Society, in an effort to save the house, attempted to sell it, but there were no takers. The house was donated back to the County Commission earlier this year. Sitting on county property, the house must be removed and has been slated for demolition.

Entering the front door, this beautiful staircase is the first thing to catch your eye.

Entering the front door, this beautiful staircase is the first thing to catch your eye.

This is a lovely old house with many charming features. The house has beautiful wood flooring throughout. It is filled with solid wood doors equipped with brass and porcelain knobs. There are several large newel posts and dark wood spindles from the stairwell that connects the living and dining room. The house has many diamond-paned windows, interior wood trim, and a lovely wrap-around porch, a true Southern tradition.

Southern Accents mission statement is to rescue, restore and protect architectural elements of historical significance. As with every salvage mission, we are often asked, “Why are you tearing down this lovely old house?” It is never our mission to tear down or demolish any historical structure. We only come on the scene after a structure has been scheduled for demolition by the property owner. We are the guys you WANT to see before the bulldozers move in. As we have done with past projects, we will enter the Hays house and remove any and all architectural elements that can be re-purposed and recycled. We view this as a rescue mission. Although the house can not be saved, many elements from the interior and exterior can be saved and given a new life. Preserving a piece of this local history for future generations is a mission that we take seriously.

You can follow our current salvage mission on Facebook as well as on our Blog. We will be posting salvaged items on our New Arrivals page as they are made available.

This old black and white photo shows the Dr. Luther Hays house in it's prime!

This old black and white photo shows the Dr. Luther Hays house in it’s prime!

Who doesn't love a red door? This one was a beauty.

Who doesn’t love a red door? This one was a beauty.

This chandelier hung in the front room.

This chandelier hung in the front room.

Two full and two half columns divided the front of this house in to two rooms.

Two full and two half columns divided the front of this house in to two rooms.

Every piece of this gorgeous staircase was salvaged.

Every piece of this gorgeous staircase was salvaged.

All of the beautiful solid wood newel posts were saved as well.

All of the beautiful solid wood newel posts were saved as well.

The doors and hardware were one of the first elements removed from the house.

The doors and hardware were one of the first elements removed from the house.

Unusually small doors led to small closets and storage rooms upstairs.

Unusually small doors led to small closets and storage rooms upstairs. All of the wide baseboards throughout the house were salvaged.

All of the spindles and columns from the wrap around porch were salvaged.

All of the spindles and columns from the wrap around porch were salvaged.

Several of the windows contained lovely diamond shaped panes.

Several of the windows contained lovely diamond shaped panes.

This picture was taken in the cellar. The ferns growing underneath the house, set against the rock foundation, were beautiful.

This picture was taken in the cellar. The ferns growing underneath the house, set against the rock foundation, were beautiful.

Written By: Lisa Jones
Photos By: Lisa Jones


To Paint or Not To Paint?

A frequent topic of conversation among our customers is the question of whether it is ever ok to paint a piece of antique wood furniture or architectural piece. There are several arguments that can be made in favor of painting, as well as taking a hands off approach, to leave a piece in its original stained condition.

If your piece is a collector item and/or you are concerned about retaining the value, then you may want to take a hands off approach where painting is concerned. Most collectors want the finish of an item to be as close to the original as possible. If the original finish happens to be painted, the time worn patina not only adds character to the piece, but could also add value if it is original. Resist the temptation to add a fresh coat of paint or lacquer before you consult with an expert so that your hard work does not take away from its value.

Another argument for retaining the original finish on a piece would be if it is a piece of historical significance. Any item that has a documented history should be kept in its original condition if at all possible. Even if the piece is damaged, restoring the damage usually will not increase the value.

Birdseye Maple Mantel -  circa 1890 from the Bruner house in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Birdseye Maple Mantel – circa 1890 from the Bruner house in Little Rock, Arkansas.

We would also not recommend painting rare and exotic woods such as birdseye maple, curly pine and burl walnut, to name a few. The grain patterns of these woods are exquisite and rare. Covering them with paint, in our opinion, is a crime. We recently rescued a mantel that was covered with several layers of white paint. We decided to strip the paint from this mantel and were so glad that we did. What we discovered is that the wood beneath all that paint was birdseye maple. This discovery drastically increased the value of this historical piece. We were also thrilled to be able to uncover and expose the natural beauty of this rare wood.

An argument in favor of paint is if your antique piece is one that you will keep and use in your home and retaining the value is not a concern. The finish may become more of an issue of personal style and coordinating your treasure with your homes décor. If the original finish does not fit the color or style of your room, painting can be a viable option. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, while the worn finish and imperfections of an antique piece might be prized by some, others might see it as an eyesore. While some collectors and purist would argue that it is never ok to paint an antique, the bottom line is that if you are the owner and the one living with the piece, you need to be happy with it. A nice coat of paint can give a needed face lift to a weathered door or add interest to a time worn dining room table.

Written By: Lisa Jones

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

If you are considering painting your antique piece, we recommend looking at the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. This paint is easy to work with and requires little to no surface preparation. It can be used on just about any surface so its use is not limited to wood items. Various techniques can be used with the Chalk Paint® that will give your piece an old or antique look… or bring out the natural wood grain. This paint is available from our friend Teresa at Vintage West. If you are within driving distance of Cullman, Alabama, we highly recommend checking out Teresa’s Chalk Paint® classes!

Another product that we highly recommend for stained or natural wood pieces is Briwax. Briwax is a unique blend of beeswax and carnauba wax that naturally cleans, stains, and polishes. It is available in clear and nine wood tones from Southern Accents. We do not recommend using oils. Oil can soak into the open grain of wood and over a period of time can turn it black. Natural wax however will help restore the finish and is preferred by collectors and most craftsmen.


Saving The Spire

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesOne of the most striking architectural features on many Victorian style homes is the towering spire. These tall, metal structures reaching towards the sky are hard to ignore. Typically affixed to a turret, at first glance one would think they are a type of lightening rod, but their purpose is far from that of attracting bolts of electricity. Actually, their presence is purely decorative and symbolic. Mostly seen on churches, they portray a hopeful, celestial gesture towards heaven. Affixed to the turret on a home, they are viewed as a symbol of wealth and prestige. Spires are, by some accounts, the defining image of Victorian homes. Their ostentatious display screams “look at me” to many a passer by. We took notice, and with an err of determination, set forth on a mission to save one spire!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques One of the houses that we recently salvaged in Little Rock, Arkansas was a majestic 1890 Queen Anne style Victorian that sat downtown just off the river. As we began the deconstruction process, the galvanized tin spire was impossible to ignore. It was an architectural element of the house that we refused to leave behind for the bulldozers. We discovered that the turret had been struck by lightning in 1976. During the repair of the turret, this spire was placed in the attic, where it remained for the next 20 years. In 1996 Little Rock saw it returned to it’s rightful place by home owner, Mr. Hammond. The spire, which is in immaculate condition, remained there until it was successfully removed during our recent salvage operation.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques Removing the spire was an interesting feat, to say the least. It involved a lift and a harrowing episode with a chain saw 50 feet high in the air. We were fortunate to have videographer Greg Spradlin from Camp Friday Films in Little Rock along for the ride. Greg put together an awesome video, documenting the removal of this incredible artifact along with it’s journey from Arkansas to Alabama. You can watch the VIDEO by Clicking Here.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesUpon it’s arrival at Southern Accents, the top of the turret, which was cut and removed with the spire in tact, was stripped of all the old shingles. The weathered wood provides the perfect backdrop for this treasure. Although this is one of those rare finds that we would love to enjoy for a while, the spire is currently available for sale and can be viewed online by Clicking Here. If you are within driving distance, the spire is currently on display in our showroom. We’re sure it will be a traffic stopper just as it was as it sat atop the majestic Victorian house on Cantrell Road.

Written by: Lisa Jones

Edited by: Garlan Gudger, Jr.


#wesaveoldstuff

Cantrell House - Little Rock, ArkansasIf you have been following our blog, Facebook posts or newsletter, you already know that this past week found us very busy with a sizeable salvage project in Arkansas. We were questioned numerous times on site in Little Rock as to why we were taking apart these beautiful historical homes. Our primary mission has always been: “To promote the preservation of our architectural heritage through rescuing, restoring, and protecting artifacts of historical significance.” We have always prided ourselves in never taking historical fabric from a structure that has not already been scheduled for demolition. There is nothing more enjoyable to us than seeing historical structures renovated and brought back to life. But we all have watched in horror as buildings have been crumbled and reduced to rubble by a wrecking ball, taking with it recyclable material and, at times, beautiful, irreplaceable architectural pieces that could have been rescued. When a historic building or structure has been scheduled for demolition, for whatever reason, Southern Accents is the company that you want to see on the scene ahead of the bulldozers.

The purpose behind our recent salvage job in Little Rock Arkansas, and every structure that we have gone into over the past 54 years, is so that we can rescue and restore the artistry of the architectural pieces we are able to obtain. By restoring these fragments, the history and craftsmanship are protected for many more years to come. What we do is nothing short of an architectural rescue mission… We save old stuff!

Brunner House - Little Rock, ArkansasMuch of the architectural salvage pieces that we call “building art” is hand crafted and/or hand carved. We value these pieces as treasured works of art. Most items would be hard to replicate or even impossible to reproduce because of cost, time and lack of craftsmanship. We parallel the intent of purposely destroying these architectural pieces as being equivalent to the destruction of a prized historical painting. By helping protect these building arts, we believe that Southern Accents is at the forefront of historical preservation by salvaging and recycling as much as possible before the wrecking ball arrives. If given enough time, we try to save everything we can right down to the wall studs, rafters, exterior siding, and brick as well as any architectural component that has any character or integrity in the interior.

Everyone should realize that the SUM of the individual pieces, taken out of a structure during a salvage job, will never equal the TOTAL of the architectural splendor when it was placed together in its entirety. Knowing that fact, it is our goal to salvage the historical, artistic, hand-crafted relics of architecture from each structure thus allowing the story of each home or building we tear down to live on for generations. We love it when people walk through our showroom and we are able to give them the history of an architectural relic. When we tell the story of a particular item, we know, that in a small way, we had a hand in preserving and documenting the history and story of where that item came from for future generations. We take pride in the accomplishments we have been able to make these past 54 years of business and look forward to continuing our mission of rescuing, restoring, and protecting for years to come.


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