Best Architectural Salvage

Seldom Found Architecturals

When an old house in Mission was nearly destroyed by a fire last year, the demolition crew hired Matt Rosberg, Mike Dobbs and Sara Roman of Seldom Found Architecturals to salvage what they could. The booty included elaborate plaster moldings and a beautifully carved and painted mantel built for a big fireplace: The piece is 5 feet tall and more than 6 feet wide. Seldom Found's showroom in the West Bottoms is filled with amazing examples of architectural details dating back to the Victorian era, when even modest cottages boasted hand-carved doors and stained-glass windows. "If only these doors and paneling and flooring could talk," says the company's operations manager, Rick Cowell. "They've survived through so much." Many American homes scrapped those fussy touches — fancy iron garden gates and fences, gingerbread scrollwork, heavy wooden paneling — after World War I, which makes the vintage treasures sold at Seldom Found even more stunning. Cowell likes to point out the craftsmanship of the exquisite polished-oak panels taken from a Boston townhouse, the hand-hewn beams from an 18th-century Amish barn (particularly prized by home builders in Johnson County) and carved limestone corbels from Kansas City's old General Hospital. Seldom Found sells reclaimed wood floors, bricks taken from razed buildings and enough vintage front doors in every style to supply, if not a small town, a very big neighborhood.
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