Exploring Urban Remains: American Antique Architectural Artifacts (and Other Oddities)

Today was a huge errand day for me. While Liz was busy at Nordstrom’s, I was out picking up things from here and there. One of the stops I made involved Urban Remains – a place that Liz found online. She had placed an order for some doorknobs (that matched the style and era of our house), and I was there to pick things up.

When I arrived, the woman behind the counter wasn’t aware of anything being set aside. So I gave her the info, and she went about looking for the pieces. She invited me to explore the warehouse, which is open to the public.

Prior to going in, I made it a point to tell her that I was in absolutely no rush at all, as I was waiting for Liz to call me when she was done. I literally had time to kill, so I tried to emphasize that I really had nowhere to be at all.

And so I went in, and started wandering around.

The spaces between each row are narrow, but just wide enough to be walkable. The place is jam packed.

There’s are numerous areas (along the north side) that are primarily furniture related. Lots of old metal chairs and stools.

One of these days, I will be lucky enough to own a set of old school card catalog drawers. These are nice, but I prefer the old wooden kind that were used in libraries. I remember learning how to use the cards as a kid, and also remember the gradual appearance of computers.

No idea what I would actually put inside a set of those drawers. But I would just love to have something like that for my office.

Non-talking heads. Seeing these here reminded me of all the previous Vintage Bazaar events that Liz and I attended.

Surprised that I found Jesus.

Not once a week… EVERY NIGHT!

I didn’t check to see what this was, but searching just now online… I see that it’s an oily rag can. Nice to know that they used to make a container for all your oily rags. With the red, I bet this would look sharp next to a gasoline can.

Listen up, all your teenage archaeologist hooligans: Get off my lawn!

Amazed that this information was once a helpful (and necessary) thing.

Chlorine gas mask.

On closer inspection I realized the mask was actually inside its own box, complete with its own set of instructions.

Fig. 2. Mask in Position.

1960’s oxidized copper doll head mold, salvaged from a New Jersey toy manufacturer.

Industrial doll mold rack, Deluxe Reading Corp., Elizabethtown. Guessing this also came from the same place as the doll head (above).

Couldn’t help but think of the movie “Brazil.”

No clue as to where this came from (I couldn’t find a tag), but it’s magnificent. I want to buy a house just so I can put this over the front door.

The stuff of nightmares.

This machine caught my eye because I wasn’t sure what it actually was. On closer inspection, the name plate is what really got me curious.

It’s “The Janette,” made by “Janette Mfg. Co.” What I loved about this is how the device seems to keep promoting “Janette,” but offers so little insight into what the thing actually is or does.

Doing a bit of searching online, it appears to be a motor of some kind. And though originally founded in 1909, the fan division of the Janette Manufacturing Company eventually took prominence, and is now known as Jan-Air.

Time enough at last.

This was a large, circular container… filled to the brim with curved, black and white photographs. I’m not sure if the photos had any direct relationship with the vessel they were in, but it seemed to be a mishmash of images: some of heavy machinery, others of what looked like a school or church.

On arriving back at the front desk, I talked with the woman who had been searching for our doorknobs. Turned out, there was a slight miscommunication – and the doorknobs were actually set aside at another desk. Luckily for me, thanks to this delay… it afforded me the chance to walk around and take photos. So things worked out well, in the end.

The Urbain Remains warehouse is located at 1850 W. Grand Avenue. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth stopping in and checking out.

Looking at their website, it seems that they also have a separate building billed as a museum/gallery that’s appointment only. If it’s anything like their warehouse, I bet it’s super amazing inside there.

Liz Birthday Day: Architectural Artifacts, Edgewater Antique Mall, Broadway Antique Market, Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits
Liz’s Birthday Roadtrip to Michigan – Day 1: Hammond Salvage and Resale, Rabbit Run Inn, Lakeside Antiques, and Harbert Antique Mall
Up at 5AM, Searching for Treasure at Wolff’s Flea Market
Vintage Bazaar

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