Dapper Stuff: Shopping for Architectural Salvage in Minneapolis

Captain Dapper loves old stuff ... maybe even more than new stuff.

Perhaps it's because my parents would drag me along to antique stores and flea markets as a kid, but I just love vintage shopping. The musty smells, the dusty finds, the rooms chock full of history ... it feels like home to me. When I found myself with some extra time in Minneapolis Saturday morning, I dragged my friend along to two salvage stores - Architectural Antiques and Art & Architecture.

My first stop was Architectural Antiques, which is housed in a big old industrial building in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. If you have a thing for religious relics and old churches, this is the place for you! When we were walking in I noticed the old church sign being repurposed as the store's signage and thought, oh isn't that cute? It turns out, that's just the tip of the religious iceberg!

Paintings, statues, even pulpits and stained glass windows are around every corner of Architectural Antiques. They were all beautiful but of course they're also very large scale. You'd need a pretty large space to accommodate most of the pieces! Of course, that didn't keep me from trying to imagine how I could use a massive altar in my tiny apartment. And speaking of massive ...

This Art Deco station entrance stopped me in my tracks. Look at all the lead glass and beautiful wood! And I love the curved shape. It's probably 15 to 20 feet tall and will set you back $15,000 but it would be a statement piece in a big loft.

It's not all church salvage and giant wood doors. There's also a vast collection of vintage lighting, hardware and other home elements. The pricing is a little on the high side for salvaged goods but if you're looking for one stop shopping versus scavenging for cheaper pieces at auctions, this is a good place to start.

The next stop for satiating my salvage shopping needs was Art & Architecture on University Avenue. This shop is also housed in an old industrial building but this one has a cute little cupcake shop as well. Mmm ... cupcakes.

Although both stores specialize in architectural artifacts, Art & Architecture is quite different from Architectural Antiques. First of all, Art & Architecture doesn't have any church salvage. Instead, you'll find old signage and maps, light fixtures and shades and lots and lots of hardware.

This is a great destination if you're rehabbing a vintage house and want to find period pieces. I also stumbled upon a number of little oddities - like a bingo machine, old typewriters and vintage sign letters.

In addition to Art & Architecture and Cupake, the building also houses a couple of antique shops on the upper floors.

Of course I never pass up an opportunity to shoot a selfie through a mirror.

Images: Jason Loper

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