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Our new (old) doors


When we decided on french doors for the back wall of the kitchen, we went to Home Depot to check out their stock. I looked online at all the likely places, and found a few I liked in our price range.

But none I LOVED. Nothing that would really look right staring back at me while I made coffee in the morning.

So we did what we should have done from the start; we took your advice, dear readers, and went to the salvage shop.

(click for larger)

Historic House Parts is located in Rochester, NY, about two hours from us. Their shop is a restoration heaven, crammed with all sorts of
fascinating salvage finds and beautiful reproduction hardware and lighting. I could spend all day here and never get bored.

Here’s what the first floor of their indoor shop looks like:

They have a second floor similar to this, and two outdoor warehouses full of larger salvaged goods.

They had hundreds of doors in stock, each unique and interesting; the decision was not easy, but we found a pair of 15-light gumwood french doors, about 6 feet wide, that are going to look great.

The best part of our trip was finding that the beautiful old doors we loved were no more costly than the absolute cheapest Home Depot aluminum uglies!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 04.18.05:

Hurray! I love the Historic Houseparts Web site … if only I could see it in person! I haven’t found a salvage place around here yet. The antique shops here usually have a few stained glass windows, maybe a door or two, but nothing more.

Anonymous had this to say on 04.18.05:

That’s great! We’ve got a place like that near us that we keep making trips to. They’ve got some great stuff. Enjoy your new/old doors. -Steve

Mary had this to say on 04.19.05:

Aw man! I love that! I wish we had a place like that near us.

Alex had this to say on 04.19.05:

I love old doors with a passion, old doors and old hardware! I am going to be hunting for some old doors soon to match our current old doors, there are tons of salvage places around us. But the most ironic/sad thing, the house nextdoor to ours is a mirror image of ours. Same molding, same everything pretty much. Someone just bought it a few weeks ago and they are doing a bunch of work in it. Well, was talking to a neighbor today and it turns out that they are ripping out much of the old door/molding/hardware and throwing it away, WHAT!?!?!?! So I immediatly thought “I must rescue these items.” So I looked into it, and if you can believe it, they didn’t want to carry the doors downstairs from the 2nd story, so instead they CUT THEM IN HALF TO FIT OUT THE WINDOW!!!! I am about as pissed as I could ever be right now. So I am trying to devise a way to rebuild these doors. I have the technology… I can rebuild them, better, stronger, um, solider, The $6 million dollar doors.

Anyhow, I am looking for something specific, exactly like that. I’ve found close, just not exact. So if you ever see some at your salvage yard, snap them up for me and I’ll be your best friend! Let me know if you are looking for anything specific. I am going to be in the ones near Richmond, VA in the next few weeks.

mindy had this to say on 04.20.05:

Oh wow, Alex – that’s TERRIBLE! I can’t believe they cut them in half. It amazes me how little respect people have for old houses, and for stuff in general. Our throwaway culture drives me crazy. People should be educated on the value (both historic and monetary) of old houses. Ugggh.

I’ll keep an eye out for those at the salvage yard. I’m thinking of starting a binder/book with photos of stuff we need (and good measurements!) so that the next time we go out there I’ll be prepared. I’ll print this out for my files ;)

Good luck at the salvage yard!

mindy had this to say on 04.20.05:

ps – Wow, your dining room looks GREAT! And it looks like you’ve got a crafty gal ;)

Geri had this to say on 04.22.05:

Hooray! You finally got to Rochester and you got your French doors! That is going to be so nice, especially looking out through them watching my grandkids walking across the back yard (under the spreading willows) on their way to school! Oops…am I not staying in the now?? Chalk it up to being on vacation this week with even more time to let my imagination run wild. Well, glad you got the doors, anyway!

Nick had this to say on 04.23.05:

Hey Alex – if you want to put a posse together to go get your neighbor for cutting up those doors, count me in. What a dimwit.

Becky had this to say on 04.25.05:

Wow. Geri said, “…watching my grandkids walking across the back yard … on their way to school!”

That made me realize… Teague and Mindy’s kids will go to the same elementary school I went to. Rock! South Side! They will probably STILL have Grover and Red Fraggle painted on the wall in the gym. Ahh… good ole ‘Stota.

I’m enjoying watching the progress on the house, guys! Nice work.

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