Saving St. Hedwig, again…

A little Polish lady called me one day looking for help. She needed some help moving. I heard her, but not really, I was hungry and tired. “No, you don’t understand!” she said. “I need help to move St. Hedwig”. “I don’t understand? That church was taken down in 2007.” After catching up with her, I realized it was the actual St. Hedwig, the statue. Standing about 8ft tall and coming in at 2,000 pounds, this was going to get interesting.

St. Hedwig’s congregation was brought into St. Francis Xavier at 24th and Green during the closing of St. Hedwig’s Church in 2005. Since then, life moved on, but the little Polish lady kept vigilant in keeping her home church alive. She saved the cross that fell off the steeple during demolition, how she moved the 800 pound cross, I’m not quite sure. She’s quite spry for her age. The vigilance paid out in spades when one day she saw her. The carved marble statue of St. Hedwig had gone missing during the closing, no one knew what happened to her.

Found not far from St. Francis, on private property, the little Pole went to work and got face to face with the current keeper of the carving. Hearing the story, the man decided to donate the statue back to the church and the little Polish lady. I’m a big believer in Karma, I think that fellow was as well.

So there I was in 2010 rigging up this beautiful piece, wiggling it out from it’s tight nook. Little Polish lady watching, vigilant. Lifting her up from her perch, riding in the back of the truck, St. Hedwig gazing straight ahead, eyes never wavering. We brought her to the churches new home at St. Francis, it was decided she would be set at the Nunnery across the street from St. Francis. We dug a footer and poured a concrete pier to hold a nice slab of reclaimed King of Prussian Marble. There St. Hedwig was placed for all to see.

“I need help to move St. Hedwig” echoes out of the ear piece of my phone. “What?” I say. “I don’t understand?”. The little Polish lady was on the phone. I had not heard from her in years, but would occasionally drive by the statue to see how she was doing. “The Nunnery is sold, we need to move St. Hedwig. The new owner of the building is going to get rid of her! We have little time”. This was the predicament I found myself in, again, only now it was 10 degrees out in one of the coldest Winters in Philadelphia.

We manged to save her, again. She sit’s behind St. Francis Xavier at 24th and Green, you can see her from the walk. She is just below the Virgin Mary, between the Church and the Catholic School in the garden. The little Polish lady is happy. Vigilant.

Fall Vintage Sale!

As the air turns crisp and the leaves fall, we think it’s a perfect time to celebrate with our loyal customers and friends! Soon, we’ll all be spending so much more time indoors, so while you’re at it, you might as well make sure that you love what you see, right?

Philadelphia Salvage is teaming up with our friends at Meadowsweet Vintage to offer a Fall Vintage Sale! On October 27th, we’ll open up the shop and our neighboring lumber yard to host a dozen local vendors of beautiful vintage finds. We’ll also be sticking to the PSCo tradition of grilling local foods and serving local beers. And we’ll also be featuring live music from local performers, as usual!

Philly Salvage and Fall? Of course, it’s going to be a party!

[If your shop is interested in tabling at this event, please contact Stacy from Meadowsweet or Chris from Philly Salvage. Your product must be vintage or reclaimed in nature.]

Best Eco-Cool Décor in Philly

Best of Philly 2012 – Shopping & Style: Best Eco-Cool Décor
From Philadelphia Magazine (page 177), August 2012

This just in: Philly Salvage was named “Best Eco-Cool Décor” by Philadelphia Magazine in their August “Best of Philly” issue! We had no idea we were even nominated, so this is quite a pleasant surprise! A huge “THANK YOU!” to all of our fantastic customers who voted for us, and we hope you’ll also vote for us for PHL17’s Philly HOT LIST, as well! And, of course, to Philadelphia Magazine, thank you so much for this honor and opportunity! We’re all so excited!

“Greening your home takes on a whole new meaning at this dusty shop where old doors, claw-foot tubs and antique tile are rescued from crumbling spaces and repurposed for modern pads. If owner Chris Stock doesn’t have exactly what you need, he’ll keep an eye out-and chances are he’ll see it soon enough.”

On newsstands NOW!


Our Party Photos

The staff at Philly Salvage would like to send out our heartfelt thanks for the great turnout we had at our first anniversary party back in early July. We had a great time with all of you, enjoying delicious food and local beer, as well as entertainment from local bands. We hope you enjoy these photos from the party as much as we did, and we’re glad you’ve supported our locally-owned business for the past year. Here’s to many more! We’ve also cross-posted this album to our Facebook page, by the way. Feel free to tag yourself and your friends!

Vote for PSCO!

Over the last year, Philly Salvage has really taken off. We’ve got almost 1,600 LIKES onFacebook. We’ve participated in local home and garden shows. We’ve been mentioned in the local press. We’re rapidly growing our business to include online sales with Etsy and our own website. And we just had a FANTASTIC first birthday party! But you know what could make it even better? If we were officially named on PHL17’s 2012 Philly HOT LIST!

Last year, Philadelphians cast more than 95,000 votes and crowned 140 winners in every category from BEST Cheesesteak to BEST Local Blogger. Philly Salvage is nominated in the BEST Antiques category! Get your votes in by September 7th! Just click the button to vote!

Support local businesses like ours by voting for us (and Philly businesses from 90 different categories) for this year’s Philly HOT LIST!


“Birthday Parties at Mt. Airy…”

Birthday Parties at Mt. Airy Village Bring Out the Masses

From the Mt. Airy Patch, 7/8/2012

There was free food, beer and music at Philadelphia Salvage’s first birthday party on Saturday afternoon.

With all that, it’s not surprising that a crowd turned out for the festivities. Philadelphia Community Acupuncture provided free treatments, Susan Lembo of Effortless Hypnosis offered back massages and people got their T-shirts printed upon at the Green on Greene building.

Here are some photos from the event. High Point Cafe was planning on having a pig roast and potluck from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday to celebrate its seventh birthday.

Read more

“Reclaiming Philadelphia’s History”

From the Weavers Way Co-Op Shuttle, 1/2012

Co-Op shopers may have noticed something unusual going on at 542 Carpenter Lane, the building owned by Weavers Way that once housed Mt. Airy Art Garage. The building now houses Philadelphia Salvage (, and when the doors are open, you can glimpse a huge selection of architectural treasures: bathroom fixtures, sinks, tubs and toilets; lighting fixtures, doors, windows and cabinets; reclaimed lumber and flooring, vintage tiles, furniture, and other reclaimed. Sometimes, there are even selections adorning the sidewalk.

Read more

“Stylish Wreckage”

From The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 18, 2011

You can see Chris Stock’s work all over the city:

A white marble countertop at Earth Bread + Brewery in Mount Airy was once part of the dance floor at the Divine Lorraine Hotel. The Night Kitchen Bakery, in Chestnut Hill, boasts a floor made from new boards – pulled from a Dumpster.

Now Stock, whose nine-year-old company, the Stock Group, uses reclaimed materials to renovate Philadelphia homes and businesses, is offering his treasure trove of flooring, tile, and architectural details in a new Mount Airy store.

“I want to recycle buildings,” he said. “I want people to think of reusing before they just buy from Home Depot.”

Read more

“Salvage business full of adventure”

From The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/23/2012

Lots of people know how to construct buildings. Chris Donna knows how to deconstruct them. “Given enough time,” he said, “I can completely take a building apart, in reverse from the process in which it was built. I could save every single nail that comes out of it.”

But Donna, one of the owners of Provenance in Northern Liberties, usually isn’t given enough time as he attempts to dismantle crumbling churches, warehouses, and hospitals.

“A lot of times, people don’t want to admit that a building needs to come down until it’s too late,” he said. “So then it gets to the point where the building is unsafe or there’s financial issues, and the building has to come down very quickly.”

This is the world of architectural salvage, a treasure hunt made glamorous by TV shows like American Pickers and trendy by an environmentally conscious class of young urban homeowners. It encompasses endless drive-by appraisals of shuttered warehouses in the hope that an owner will show up and let them inside; the adrenaline-pumping suspense of sifting through the unknown; the perils of urban exploration, and the occasional 3 a.m. meetings with Ralph Lauren buyers willing to pay $5,000 for a haul of dusty old piano covers.

Read more

Happy Birthday to Us!

We’re celebrating our first anniversary as a business by having a fantastic party on July 7th, and we hope you’ll join us! Enjoy local beer and food as well as entertainment from local bands! RSVP on Facebook and keep an eye out for updates!