Local nonprofit Historic Houston is no longer accepting donations of building materials, and is closing its salvage warehouse and ending its salvage program, reports the organization’s founder and executive director, Lynn Edmundson. The organization stored and sold donated historic building materials reclaimed from doomed houses at a leased warehouse and yard at 1307 W. Clay and a separate “overflow” facility across the street at 1214 Joe Annie. Historic Houston’s 9-year-old salvage program typically removed and saved doors, windows, flooring, shiplap, siding, stair rails treads, and plumbing and lighting fixtures from old houses slated for demolition.
The closing of the North Montrose warehouse will likely be a major blow to the organization, which also runs educational programs and a relocation service for doomed bungalows. Edmundson explains that sales of used building materials once covered all of Historic Houston’s expenses: its 2 leases, staff salaries, a salvage crew, power tools and equipment, warehouse racks and vehicles. By last year, though, that formula had stopped working. Demand for the organization’s salvaging services continued to grow, along with its inventory — Edmundson calls the stream of donated items “endless and overwhelming.” But sales fell off, and the organization has no “cash cushion,” Edmundson notes: “We have windows and other things that we can’t sell enough of — to cover all of the expenses for getting the material out of a house, transporting it, and then having enough space to store everything until someone comes in to buy it. . . . Our ability to turn windows to dollars to pay expenses tanked when the economy went south.”
The warehouse has been operating in its current location for 7 years. Edmundson says the facility is closed today and will likely remain closed over the weekend — except to allow people who’ve already purchased items to pick them up. She intends to reopen it soon — possibly next week — for a members-only 50-percent-off sale. Later, the sale will be opened to the general public. Anything that isn’t sold will likely be donated to the ReStore operated by Northwest Harris County’s Habitat for Humanity.
- Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse Closing Soon [Historic Houston]
- Previously on Swamplot: Wilshire Village Apartments Demo: Maybe Not Quite Yet, Okay, How About the Wilshire Village Apartments for Salvage?, Classic Heights Developments
Photos: Candace Garcia