Salvage: An homage to refuse

“A place to explore, discover, and stimulate your imagination,” the Sarasota Architectural Salvage (SAS) website claims. Stepping inside the warehouse full of antique Coca-Cola bottles, Playboys from the 1960’s, decorative Spanish tiles and garden sculptures this statement is immediately proven true. From bins of wrought iron mermaids to rows of antique doors and windows, the fantastic finds of SAS reveal true creativity, craftsmanship and a keen eye for beauty in someone else’s trash.

SAS began in 2003 when owner, founder and New College alum Jesse White (‘84) decided to start saving usable, functional items and materials that would otherwise be going to the landfill. To fulfill his goal of creating an environmentally sustainable, financially profitable business, White used his love of antiques, architecture and art to create SAS.

Starting with raw building materials like wood and iron which could be repurposed, White expanded his scope to include home decor, antiques, collectibles and furniture. White and the craftspeople who work with him create furniture and art out of the materials they salvage. He also commissions work from artists or allows local artists to consign their work at SAS.

“These fine artist-fabricators help me implement my vision of keeping things out of the landfill on a higher level by creating furniture from salvage and re-purposing furniture,” White said.

While most items are salvaged close to home in the “urban forest” of Sarasota, Bradenton or St. Petersburg, White is not opposed to buying and selling goods from other salvage and demolition companies abroad. As long as it meets his standards of “cool, sustainable and fun” anything is fair game for White.

“Something is worth saving if you can figure out a new use for it,” White said. “Most of our materials are solid wood, iron, stone, or decorative cement or plaster. They exhibit inherent qualities such as desirable grain structure in wood, strength, quality of workmanship, or visual appeal. This makes for a wide range of materials that we harbor within our walls.”

SAS is a haven for artists and craftspeople and an intriguing maze of historical artifacts and beautifully refurbished objects for anyone interested in the sustainable, artistic and salvaged. The warehouse, filled to capacity with antique chandeliers, old signs, furniture and trinkets, is veritable maze of history and art.

SAS is located at 1093 Central Ave. Visit http://www.sarasotasalvage.com/ for products and events at SAS.

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