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Demolition Divas

In an industrial park in Elk Grove Village, two history buffs build a store around their shared love of architectural salvage.

The Destination
Island Girl Salvage, 160 Kelly Street, Elk Grove Village; 847-593-2433, www.islandgirlsalvage.com

The Owners
A phone company layoff four years ago proved fortunate for officemates Tabitha Long and Liz Ross. Long, now 38, who grew up in a series of renovated historic homes, had long been smitten by vintage charm. When scrounging for architectural salvage, she would take along her friend Ross, now 39. Soon Ross, a history buff, became entranced as well. Now, working with developers, the two scout old houses due for demolition or renovation and remove mantels, tiles, windows, light fixtures, and any other ornamental work that strikes their fancy. “We love recycling these beautiful things,” says Ross.

The Vibe
A classic surprise in a 1970s-era industrial office park. Inside a warehouse, the owners arrange charming vignettes that show shoppers the potential of recycled items.

The Goods
Imagine sitting on a painted porch swing ($145), sipping a cool drink from a tall lemon-patterned glass ($65 for the set of eight). Or gathering around a table crowned by a fabric umbrella that sports a defunct paint company’s advertising slogan ($299). Shoppers will find lots of items with interesting histories, like 1930s-era papier-mâché urns ($40) that once served as set props for Lyric Opera. Long and Ross tag their own finds with provenance, so brass andirons ($60) from 211 Woodland in Wheaton and a pale yellow pedestal sink ($265) from 495 Greenleaf in Glencoe come with a certain pedigree.

The Verdict
The place to add a bit of timeworn charm to an interior.

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