Here at WonderRoot Creative Reuse, we are all about promoting other organizations and informing people about other avenues for creatively reusing things. Today, I feel like singing the praises of one of my favorite creative reusers–Ohmega Salvage.
I stumbled across Ohmega when I was living in the Bay Area last year. It’s located in South Berkeley, on a desolate-but-still-somehow-magical street called San Pablo Avenue, where one can find many taquerias, panaderias, and even a typewriter store. Ohmega is on both sides of the street, and is surrounded by high, wrought-iron fences. When I first walked by, I stopped to gawk at the sea of bathtubs.
Ohmega Salvage is an amazing salvage yard that specializes in vintage architectural materials. Below is a mission statement of sorts from their site:
At Ohmega Salvage we are committed to preserving the architectural heritage of the Bay Area. To this end, we buy and sell usual and unusual building materials.
Our company has made its mark in the Bay Area over the last 35 years as the leading supplier of restoration materials to architects, contractors, and homeowners.
Our goal is to save architectural materials that are still useful to others and essential to authentic restoration projects; as well as to save resources in a world burdened with too much landfill.
You can go to Ohmega and buy a bathroom (in pieces, that is), some windows, some columns, some doors! You can buy old metal hardware for your cabinets. You can buy lighting, mantels, and gates, among myriad other things.
During my time in the East Bay, I went to Ohmega quite a bit. I didn’t have a house that needed working on, but I found it so fascinating to look through all the antique architectural elements that had been saved from the landfill. These things could be given a new purpose in someone’s home or in the restoration of older, public buildings in the community.
Places like Ohmega are really inspiring. The people who work there are committed to diverting waste, finding ingenious uses for unusual items, and for making something new out of something old. They care about their community and its heritage and are adding to the creative and vibrant culture of the Bay. You should check out their site and their blog, which has a list of Instructionals that would be fun to try out, things like replacing missing claw foot tub feet!
Berkeley is a long way from Atlanta, obviously, so I’m planning to go check out some salvage yards and see what’s going on there. If anyone has suggestions for good local salvaging, leave them in the comments!