Denver Fixture Of Fixtures, Architectural Salvage, Closes Its Doors

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Photo: Architectural Salvage 1, Roger Johnson (HV)
Roger Johnson at the cash register of Architectural Salvage in Denver on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.

For nearly three decades, an unusual store called Architectural Salvage has been a Denver institution, attracting people with old homes who want to replace a fixture with something authentic.

Photo: Architectural Salvage 2, Betsy Werhane (HV)
Betsy Werhane in the showroom of Architectural Salvage on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.

On Monday, the store closes its doors. Co-owners Roger Johnson and Betsy Werhane are moving to Tucson, to retire.

Photo: Architectural Salvage 3, Showroom (HV)
The showroom at Architectural Salvage on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.

The merchandise, which includes hardware, doors of many shapes and sizes, lights and oddities -- a wicker baby carriage, a urinal, and a small organ during a recent visit -- is almost all from the 1880s through the 1930s, what Werhane calls "Era of Denver," when all of the old homes were built. Johnson says nearly everything was made locally at the time.

Photo: Architectural Salvage 4, Baby Carriage (HV)
An antique baby carriage in the showroom at Architectural Salvage on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.

"Everything was pretty much built by craftsmen up through the 1920s. And then in the 20s and 30s they started going a little bit art deco and everything started being mass-produced after WWII. And a lot of the quality and detail that had been in the Victorian era and earlier periods was pretty much gone," he says.

Photo: Architectural Salvage 5, Light Fixtures (HV)
Architectural Salvage co-owner Roger Johnson believes these 100-year-old light fixtures may be relics from the Colorado State House.

Denverites did start to see the charm of their old homes, which is what kept Architectural Salvage in business for so long. But Werhane and Johnson could not find a buyer for the store, so everything has been marked down.

Photo: Architectural Salvage 6, AJ Martin (HV)
AJ Martin, of Denver, carries his son Sam as he hunts for bargains in the showroom at Architectural Salvage on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.

After Monday, the store will open once more, for an auction on March 12.