Historic architectural antiques, or architecturals, as they're commonly known, are finding their way into new home construction as imaginative and unusual building and decorating elements.
According to Building Ideas magazine, part of the popularity stems from a renewed interest in the past, but these pieces are also considered an art form.
Salvage houses around the country sell one-of-a-kind pieces, but antique collectors will also find an assortment of more common antique elements such as windows, doors, mantels, grates, staircases, newels, columns, pediments, fretwork and hardware. They could also happen upon such unusual finds as marble fountains, bronze street lamps, carved pulpits, courtroom benches, gazebos, domed ceilings and Tiffany chandeliers.
Most urban areas are rich sources of architectural antiques, and dealerships specializing in architecturals offer an ever-changing inventory. Dealers usually will send collectors a photograph and dimensions in response to a specific inquiry and most will also ship purchases.
While dealerships are excellent sources for architectural antiques, it's still possible to scour demolition sites in search of architecturals. Scan the Yellow Pages for demolition contractors and ask them where they're working, whether collectors will be welcome and what sort of salvage is available. Another good idea is to check newspapers for listings of estate sales.