The ReBuilding Exchange was cited as a great DIY resource in two of the stories I wrote for the May/June issue of our mag (on newsstands in a couple of days), so I had to check it out. So glad I did (even though I got stuck on Ashland trying to catch a cab in a rainstorm on the way back to the office—not fun). This huge not-for-profit repository for old tubs, sinks, lumber, and some architectural elements salvaged from construction sites around the city recently relocated from the South Side to the corner of Ashland and Webster. It’s not pretty here, but you can find great deals on clawfoot tubs and old-growth wood, that’s for sure (don’t expect stacks of amazing fireplace mantels, though—remember, this stuff is donated). Seems like nothing costs more than $200 and you can walk out with a piece of hardware for as little as $2. Once in a while, an upscale Kohler product will arrive from the Merchandise Mart that will cost a little extra—but it’s still guaranteed to be a bargain. The Exchange also has a woodshop, where beginning carpenters enrolled in an onsite green-sector training program learn their craft and then sell their creations (mirrors, benches, tables) in an area near the entrance. Also on sale are a handful of pieces by local furniture makers who buy their supplies here (see wood chair above). Interested in woodworking yourself? The Exchange also offers classes; on Saturday, May 7, there will be a reclaimed-wood-framed mirror-building seminar for $50. Perfect gift for that crafty mom who secretly yearns to get her hands on some power tools.
3 weeks ago