Rescued Relics Begins Fifth Year of Success

By on 15 December, 2014 in Carole King, Historic preservation, Shopping with 0 Comments

DSCN1651One of my first posts for MML was about Rescued Relics, our salvage warehouse at Old Alabama Town. So I thought it was time for an update on what has been a huge success! We initiated this innovative way to produce income when the city budget cuts took their toll on our operations here at Old Alabama Town. Four and a half years, tens of thousands of dollars and tons of salvage material later, Rescued Relics has been a great asset to Montgomery’s preservation community. We have a large core of dedicated customers who visit us regularly and are true believers in our motto: “You Snooze, You Lose.” This means we have no idea when we will receive the next donation, what we will get and which customer will fall in love with that item and scoop up a good deal. So if you love it, buy it now!

We appreciate all those who have helped draw attention to Rescued Relics through their projects and artwork. Our salvage has appeared in Etsy, Pinterest and lots of other artistic sites and blogs. We’ve been invited to art happenings, homebuilders trade shows, preservation conferences and other assorted events, all places we’ve been able to show folks how recycling is the ultimate preservation. Our stock has gone to weddings, banquets, school plays and proms and most recently the Helicity Popup Shop. Our volunteers have even learned new skills by participating in several building demolitions that they could share with potential customers of that salvage.

We’ve received many, many donations of awesome salvage items—doors, mantels, lighting fixtures, architectural elements—lots of which have found new lives in restoration ventures, repurposing projects or artwork. Mantels became headboards, doors became dining tables, shutters became room screens, and window sashes became picture frames. The creativity and expertise of our customers is endless.

We’re still in the leaky warehouse on Madison Avenue, although the city did upgrade our approach with new trees, grass and sidewalk. As our inventory has grown, our operation has expanded from the small storefront into the body of the warehouse, which new customers admire for its own architectural uniqueness, despite its own need for restoration. Roger and Larry still show up religiously on their appointed days. Jeff, Paula and Carol volunteer to fill in for special occasions and vacations. It’s still hot in the summer and chilly in the winter and there’s still no bathroom. The fridge is still filled with soft drinks and snacks for these loyal volunteers and the radio still blasts classical music. Not a day goes by that a curious passer-by doesn’t poke their head in the roll-up door to see what’s happening in our space.

The installation of the Little Free Library on the front of the Rescued Relics warehouse has also drawn many customers. Our restoration carpenter, Steve Combs, created a glass front bookcase with a metal roof using our salvage. The Library contains books free for taking and we are continually feeding books from a donated back stock, into the Library as passers-by and our customers help themselves to free reading material.

To celebrate our years of success we’re holding a Last Chance Open House on Wednesday, December 31, New Year’s Eve from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 noon. This will be a “last chance” for folks to make a salvage donation to Rescued Relics and receive a tax donation letter from Landmarks Foundation for the 2015 tax year. And we invite our devoted customers to come join us for refreshments. Also, we hope those making New Year’s resolutions will think about volunteering some time at Rescued Relics. We would like to expand our open hours but need volunteers to help us out. It’s a great retirement job and an opportunity to have first shot at our incoming items!

Rescued Relics is conveniently located in historic downtown Montgomery at 423 Madison Avenue with plenty of parking adjacent. Hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 10:00 until 12:00. For more information about Rescued Relics call 334.240.4512.

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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