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Old is in at Allentown Preservation League

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 23 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 25 2013 07:23:40 AM CDT

Old is in at Allentown Preservation League

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Rummaging through the past to give it a future, the Allentown Preservation League salvage warehouse on West Walnut Street is a window back in time. 

The organization salvages and resells mid-century and older architectural pieces from old buildings.  The finds come from properties that are being demolished or remodeled.  Sometimes they're even donated.

"We have a house built in 1890, a Victorian and we came here to find, see what was here and looking for a shutter specifically," shared Ken Magee with his tape measure out.

Whether folks are looking for historical accuracy or to bring a sense of historical style to new projects, the warehouse has lot's to look through.

"Thousands of dollars of items went through this warehouse and back into the community," explained Tom Schleicher, president of the Allentown Preservation League.  "So it's sort of ultimate in recycling."

With major demolition work being done in downtown Allentown stock has gone up.  Workers say the city and developers have been very cooperative.

"If somebody pulls a permit that there's going to be a building brought down for any reason a lot of times we'll have an opportunity to get in there and get banisters, doors, molding, mantels, things like that," added Schleicher.

Thanks to some creative advertising on Facebook and Craigslist, the number of people walking through the doors has also increased.

"It's probably 30 to 35 people in three hours that we're open on a Saturday," said Schleicher.

They come from the Poconos, Central PA and Jersey.  From 9  a.m. to noon on Saturday, the non-profit's warehouse is manned by volunteers, hoping customers can give new life to the old household items.

"Recycling of old house material is always the best choice," said Magee.  "By doing that you keep the history of the area alive."