Tag Archives: New York City

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!


2014 – Year In Review

It is hard to believe that another year is coming to a close! 2014 proved to be another very busy year for the Southern Accents team. We started the year with a home town salvage mission as we rescued architectural elements from the historical Hays House. The demolition dust had barely cleared the air and we hit the road and headed north on an antiquing trip to Philly. This trip was the first of two buying trips up north, the second taking place in September.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

April saw us head south to Greenville, Alabama for another salvage mission as we rescued more architectural elements from an 1890’s house scheduled for demolition. The month of May came quickly as we prepared for Southern Makers 2014. This highly successful event will be expanding in 2015 to two days, May 2nd & 3rd.

June was an exciting time as we designed and built staging for NASA On The Square! We also traveled to Atlanta for the Haven Bloggers Conference. Summer quickly turned to fall and we loaded the truck and headed south once again, this time to Chapel Market in Pike Road, Alabama.

As the year began to wind down, Southern Accents traveled to New York in November to attend the BizBash Event Style Awards. We were honored to represent Southern Makers winning a prestigious award for event decor. We also attended the BBB luncheon in Huntsville as Southern Accents was a BBB Torch Award finalist.

Looking ahead to 2015 there are quite a few exciting events on the horizon, many we will be sharing with you in the coming weeks! Thank you for following along with us as we continue our mission of rescuing, restoring, and protecting architectural elements of historical significance. We are looking forward to 2015 and what we expect to be our best and most exciting year ever!!


A Tale of Two Cities & One Set Of Doors

We are always fascinated by the many stories we are able to uncover about some of the architectural pieces that we salvage. One story involves our good friends at Billy Reid and a set of antique doors salvaged from a building in New York City.

Southern Accents often travels north in search of salvaged architectural antiques. One such trip saw us return with an incredible set of tall exterior doors. This particular set of doors was simply gorgeous with lots of detailed carving and loads of character. The doors were so striking that Southern Accents owner, Garlan, decided to keep the doors and place them in his home. The doors were temporarily moved to a storage area of our warehouse until they could be retrofitted for his loft.

Billy Reid - Nashville, Tennessee

Billy Reid – Nashville, Tennessee

A few months later Billy Reid visited the SA showroom looking for items for their new retail shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Billy spied the New York doors and decided that he had to have them for his Nashville location. After a bit of negotiating, Garlan reluctantly agreed to relinquish the doors to his friend. The magnificent set of doors currently grace the entrance of the Billy Reid store in Nashville, Tennessee, along with a number of other items acquired from Southern Accents.

Billy Reid - New York City

Billy Reid – New York City

Fast forward one year later… Billy Reid is preparing to open his retail store in New York City on 54 Bond Street. Billy selected a variety of material from Southern Accents for his new location that needed to be delivered. Garlan had a trip to New York already scheduled so he decided to drive up and deliver Billy’s materials himself. Upon arriving in New York, as Garlan began unloading the items, he noticed something that looked strangely familiar. The front doors of Billy Reid’s New York store looked identical to the front entrance doors of his Nashville location. Garlan snapped a few pictures and took a few measurements, confirming that the doors were indeed identical. After a bit of investigation, Garlan discovered that the doors he had fallen in love with and purchased almost two years earlier had indeed been salvaged from that very building in New York City! Garlan was thrilled with this discovery as it confirmed that the doors ended up exactly where they were supposed to be. Billy had unknowingly selected entrance doors for his Nashville store that were the original doors that hung on the front entrance of the exact building that would become the location of his New York City store.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but this story and others like it are what inspires us to continue doing what we do… rescue, restore, protect and document architectural elements of historical significance. Next time you are in Nashville or New York City, make sure you pay a visit to Billy Reid and pause for a moment before entering the shop to admire the doors!

Written by: Lisa Jones
Pictures courtesy of Billy Reid


Southern Makers Wins In New York!

Last week Southern Accents traveled to New York to attend the prestigious BizBash Event Style Award Ceremony. BizBash is a resource hub for the event industry. Founded in 2008, BizBash is the go to place for professional event planners. Each year they accept nominations and host an award ceremony where the very best in the event industry is recognized. This year, Southern Makers was nominated for a national award in two categories. First, SM was nominated, along with nearly 1,000 other event submissions, for Best Event Decor – Budget Under $250,000. Southern Makers was one of the top three finalists along with the Godiva Lounge at Warner Brothers and In StyleGolden Globes Party and U.S. Travel Association’s IPW (International Pow Wow) Closing-Night Party.

The second nomination for Southern Makers came in the category of the People’s Choice Award for Event Decor – Budget Under $250,000. SM was one of the five highest scoring submissions which put us in the running for this award.

Southern Accents is a curator for Southern Makers and primarily responsible for the set design and construction of all of the staging and event decor. Receiving such a prestigious recognition from the event industry for Southern Makers was beyond exciting! Although, we did not walk away as the top place winner, being placed in the top five among so many worthy nominations was quite the honor.

Garlan and Southern Makers founder Andrea Jean, on behalf of all the SM curators which include Southern Accents, Goodwyn Mills Cawood, Matter, and Eat South, traveled to New York to attend the award ceremony, which was held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The creative wheels are already turning as we begin thinking about next year’s two day Southern Makers event scheduled for May 2 – 3 in Montgomery, Alabama. Having a few creatives on the SA team who are a little competitive certainly helps to keep the event decor unique and exciting each year! Winning the top place at the BizBash award ceremony is definitely on our bucket list!

Garlan Gudger with Southern Makers Founder Andrea Jean and BizBash Founder and CEO David Adler.

Garlan Gudger with Southern Makers Founder Andrea Jean and BizBash Founder and CEO David Adler.

Speaking of Southern Makers…

The deadline for submitting an application for the 2015 event is quickly approaching. If you are an artist, chef, brewer, craftsman, musician, farmer, or designer from the state of Alabama and want to be considered for Southern Makers 2015, you can apply online at: southernmakers.com/application. Submitted applications will go before a curating committee for consideration. Applications must be submitted by November 15, 2014. There are a limited number of spots available.

The overwhelming feed back received from this years event was that one day was just not long enough so, Southern Makers is expanding in 2015 into a 2-Day event! Next year Southern Makers will take place on a Saturday and Sunday, May 2 – 3, at the Union Station Train Shed in Downtown Montgomery, Alabama. Mark your calendar now and if you are an Alabama Maker, don’t delay… get your application in today!!


A New York State of Mind

This past week Southern Accents was fortunate to be able to collaborate with Billy Reid in New York City for the unveiling of his 2013 Fall/Winter collection. This was the second time we have had the honor of working with Billy Reid during fashion week. Garlan Jr. helped Billy create a backdrop for his fashion exhibition in 2010. When Billy commissioned us for this year’s famous runway show, we wanted to construct a set that would showcase not only Billy’s incredible fashion sense but also showcase our creativity with the use of Southern salvage. Being second generation business owners, Garlan and Billy combined their knowledge and experience in their respective fields of architecture and fashion to produce a memorable show. Working together in New York with Paper Mache’ Monkey, the end result was a magnificent display, yet to be seen in New York City during any fashion week.

Southern Accents helping construct the set for Billy Reid during fashion week in NYC

The idea for the backdrop started when Roger Long, our resident artisan, came up with a byproduct of a small wood tile making use of salvage wood drops that would otherwise be tossed in the garbage or burned in our incinerator. His thought was to cut the pieces into 4″ x 8″ wood tiles that could then be used for ornate flooring, wall or ceiling coverings. Billy spotted a pallet of the wood tiles during one of his frequent visits to our showroom. He loved the texture and color of the wood tile, but was not sure at the time how he could utilize them. Two months down the road he called with the idea of using the tiles to create a backdrop for his upcoming New York fashion show. Our challenge was to produce the backdrop keeping the woods natural patina that would reflect both the warmth, as well as the rustic-vintage look, of Billy’s clothing line. The contrast of our salvaged wood tiles with the elegance of the lighting from our antique chandeliers set the bar high, even for a New York City runway!

Southern Accents at Fashion Week in NYC with Billy Reid

Billy Reid recently spoke of his visits to Southern Accents in an interview. “Every artist at times gets exhausted from constantly producing new material while keeping true to their own personal tastes and style. When this happens to me, I enjoy showing up at Southern Accents on occasion, unannounced, to view the work of other artists who have created pieces of building art 100 years or more ago. Southern Accents is like a museum of antique building art that gives me inspiration and rejuvenates my creativity.”

Southern Accents with Billy Reid in NYC for Fashion Week

The backdrop, along with several of the chandeliers, will be moved to Georgetown where it will find a new life as floor and wall coverings in Billy Reid’s newest store at 3211 M Street NW, Washington, DC 21930 opening in late April, 2013. The combination of Billy’s creativity and Southern Accents salvage was not only used during Fashion Week, but also in most of Billy Reid’s retail stores located in Nashville, Charleston, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Dallas as well as his home base in Florence, Alabama.

Southern Accents Owner Garlan Gudger, Jr. working on Billy Reid's set for Fashion Week in NYC

Southern Accents Owner Garlan Gudger, Jr. working on Billy Reid’s set for Fashion Week in NYC – February 08, 2013

“We look forward at Southern Accents to share our passion of historic preservation in a collaborative effort with any artist or anyone that has a concept of using architectural salvage. Just like fashion week with Billy Reid, that ended in a huge success for all involved,…. it all starts with a simple idea.”
Garlan Gudger, Jr. – Owner

Garlan Gudger, Jr. and Billy Reid admiring the finished set in NYC during fashion week.

Garlan Gudger, Jr. and Billy Reid admiring the finished set in NYC during fashion week – February 8, 2013


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