Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bars Like You've Never Seen Before at the Architectural Antiques Exchange

The Architectural Antiques Exchange on 2nd Street in North Liberties, Philadelphia, just beyond faux hipster heaven, aka Philly Vespa, is really something to see.

The bars have been disassembled and removed from drinking establishments across Europe (primarily France and Belgium) and America and are complete and ready for installation in your house, club, bar or saloon.

My guess is that they range in age from the mid-19th century through the veneered, art deco `30s.

The are in fantastic shape--most original, some with refinished bar tops.

Prices range from perhaps $3K and the most costly one I saw was $22.5K.

But, here's the thing: You would be hard-pressed to recreate these at close to these prices today. The lumber would cost you a fortune--many are Cherry. The craftsmanship is unlike almost anything you see today. Granted you could find someone to take their time and come up with something akin to these bars, but at labor of probably $75 to $100 an hour, these bars are a bargain.

I got a bunch of ideas for my gantry.

There's a lot more than bars here, too: Wrought iron, furniture, stained glass, signage, and architectural elements and objets d` art of all sorts.

Worth a trip just for the marvel factor.

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