Shop Talk

By Carol Tisch Photography by Matt McCourtney March 1, 2009

What’s old is new at Sarasota’s original green business, where owner Jesse White is not just on top of design trends—he’s setting them. In the seven years since Sarasota Architectural Salvage opened its doors, White has witnessed profound changes in buying patterns at the 10,000-square-foot haven of history. “People are seeking architectural salvage as statement pieces and conversation pieces,” White says. He points to a selection of vintage doors imported from the far corners of the world, and one beautifully crusty example from Egypt ($3,500) of wood and iron.

Ringling Rubble

That’s the name of a new department featuring salvage from the John Ringling Towers. Hand-stenciled beams, heart pine flooring and even shutters are repurposed into custom furniture; proceeds go to Friends of Sarasota County History Center. With every purchase, you’ll get a certificate of authenticity.

For Love or Money

“People want to express their own creativity and personalities through salvage, but we see a move toward buying for love and not strictly for investment,” explains White. Sales of good-looking outdoor statuary are soaring, and reproductions from $19 to an $800 gargoyle are flying out the doors. Sarasota Architectural Salvage, 1093 Central Ave., Sarasota, (941) 362-0803

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