In a town where desanctified churches morph into breweries and dusty factories are reborn as swanky apartments, repurposing stuff has been elevated to an art form. Pittsburgh has salvage skill.
Secondhand shopping is good for the environment, good for the soul (so deeply satisfying to find treasures where others might see trash) and good for decorating your living space with style. Here’s our guide to five stellar places to find retro and reclaimed treasures.
SalvagedPGH, 251 Church Rd., Wexford
Worth driving north for: Amid the housing developments and strip malls of Wexford sits SalvagedPGH, a deconstruction company specializing in preserving history and keeping usable goods out of dumpsters. They accept donated bathroom fixtures, furniture, mantels, windows, yard and garden stuff, bricks, shutters, cabinets, lighting, tubs, wood, and even the kitchen sink — meaning you can find great elements for redecorating and home renovation projects. New arrivals are posted to their Facebook page nearly every day for digital browsing. And though inanimate objects are their forte, Salvaged occasionally welcomes Senior Hearts Rescue & Renewal to their store to help elderly dogs find forever homes.
Construction Junction, 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze
If you can’t find what you’re looking for at Construction Junction, then you’ll definitely discover something you didn’t know you needed. The 30,000-square-foot warehouse in Point Breeze is a treasure trove of donated furniture and salvaged building materials, from huge architectural archways and scrap metal down to literal nuts and bolts, all at a fraction of the cost of new materials. The environmental nonprofit, which hosts the popular annual Steel City Big Pour beer fest to help cover operational costs, was developed by the Pennsylvania Resources Council, Green Building Alliance and Conservation Consultants. So when you purchase a gently used toilet, you’re doing your part to help to save the Earth.
It’s New To Me, 339 Rochester Rd., Ross Township & 522 Valley Brook Rd., Venetia
From sofas and loveseats to tea sets and credenzas, somebody’s old, high-quality home goods might be just the quirky addition your home needs. Not sure that sparkly chandelier will look right in your humble abode? It’s New To Me will let you take it home to hang out for 24 hours (if you secure the item with a credit card). Have something to sell? This consignment gallery — with locations in Ross Township and Venetia — will showcase your offering for 90 days. If it sells, you get 50 percent of the profit! If it doesn’t, you can pick it up or donate it to charity.