Salvaged beauty

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There's so many doors stacked in rows at Columbus Architectural Salvage, it's like oversized dominoes. Guinness World Record project, anyone?

Chris Sauer hopes the home fixtures and vintage building materials he's amassed in his Grandview warehouse are put to use - whether it's for their original purpose or not.

Many of his shoppers are homeowners working on a renovation, but Sauer thinks the salvaged windows and doors he keeps in stock could easily find new life in another use.

Hunting among the vintage doorknobs, art-deco ceiling lights and hundreds of metal heating grates has become a guilty pleasure for local homeowners, historians and crafters. The mix is part museum, part inspiration for a redesigned dream home.

"People who've been coming in say the same thing that I always thought, that Columbus has really needed this, and there hasn't been anything like this for a while," said Sauer, who owned a carpentry business and started collecting things on the side before opening his Grandview warehouse location in April.

"I'm not the most imaginary, but even the other day I was thinking about just this light fixture - I mean, you could put a candle in it," Sauer said, pointing to a ceiling light fixture of sculpted metal displayed facing up on a table. "It's pretty, but if someone didn't want to use it as a light, you could figure out another use for it."

Sample setups fill the first half of the warehouse. There's lots of living room furniture, a bathroom vanity topped with a hinged mirror and lights, and an entire pastel green '50s kitchen ensemble with a vintage Coca-Cola cooler.

Stained-glass windows hang on the walls and from the ceiling, and a giant white cast-iron garden bench is Sauer's current favorite piece.

Passing under a massive, windowed entryway from the York Masonic Lodge that used to stand on High Street takes shoppers to an entirely different - and dirtier - section. It's much more of what you'd expect from a warehouse, where everything from sinks to pillars to marble tile squares sit on shelves.

Sauer finds many of the items at antique shows and auctions, and plenty of stuff has been coming in from local demo projects as word about the warehouse is getting out.

The warehouse is open Saturdays and by appointment, and much of the inventory is kept current - with photos - on the website.

Columbus Architectural Salvage

1270-A Edgehill Rd., Grandview