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Historic Houston Salvage Warehouse closing


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This was emailed earlier today:


Historic Houston sadly announces the closing of their Salvage Warehouse. Historic Houston's Salvage Program and Salvage Warehouse have been dedicated to reclaiming and reusing historic building materials as a method for reducing construction waste. Historic Houston's staff and our salvage crew have been proud to serve the Houston community and we are very grateful for the generous community support we have received for the last 10 years. Unfortunately rising costs and a poor economy have forced this difficult decision.

Historic Houston's Salvage Program reclaims the historic building materials such as the doors, windows, flooring, interior shiplap, exterior siding, stair rails and stair treads, as well as plumbing and lighting fixtures from houses slated for demolition to encourage reuse and recycling and to divert this material from entering local landfills. This reclaimed material is then made available to the public through Historic Houston's Salvage Warehouse to provide much needed historic building materials for individuals repairing, restoring or renovating an older home or wanting to add a little architectural interest to new construction. Since its inception Historic Houston's Salvage Program has diverted several million cubic yards of building materials from entering Texas landfills.

Historic Houston's Salvage Warehouse has become a regional resource for reclaimed building materials for residents throughout an 11 county region of southeast Texas. Reclaimed materials from Historic Houston's Salvage Warehouse have been utilized in recent green building projects including the City of Houston's Green Building Resource Center as a way to showcase the benefits of reusing reclaimed materials in a new and innovative way.

Historic Houston's Salvage and Relocation Programs have won local, state and national acclaim for their work promoting recycling and reuse of materials at all levels. In 2006 Historic Houston's Salvage Program and Salvage Warehouse received the Outstanding Environmental Leadership Award from the Recycling Alliance of Texas for their outstanding contributions for Construction and Demolition Debris Reuse and Recycling. The Salvage Program and Salvage Warehouse have continued to be heralded as an innovative and creative approach to resource conservation and sustainability.

Recent efforts over the past few months to reduce costs by consolidating and liquidating our inventory have not succeeded. Until further notice Historic Houston has suspended accepting any material donations. We encourage those wishing to donate materials to contact Habitat for Humanity Northwest Harris County ReStore at 832-327-1120.

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And now due to people asking about what it would take to keep it open, this was sent out:


I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support that we have received today. We have been overwhelmed with phone calls and emails and many, many offers of support in a variety of ways. .

We have been asked to calculate what amount of funding would be needed to keep the Salvage Warehouse opened and operating, as an intermediate short-term solution, so that a long term strategy could be formulated.

To that end we have calculated that would take a minimum of 500 donations of $100.00/donation to keep the warehouse opened and the staff in place for an additional 3 months. Obviously cash donations of any size would be greatly appreciated and accepted but this is the amount that is immediately needed.

If you are willing to make a cash donation to keep our Salvage Warehouse opened, or know someone else who might, please follow the link Emergency Funding Donation to contribute. While this is a only a short-term solution, it might provide some time to look at some of the offers that have come forward to help us out.

Historic Houston

Lynn Edmundson, Executive Director

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If they're operating at a net loss of $200k per year ($100 x 500 donors / 3 months x 12 months), that's just ridiculous. They do have revenue, after all. And their cost of goods sold is zero! Let's stand back and look at this operation.

They occupy a 4,275 sf warehouse on 9,755 sf of land and also a 3,484 sf warehouse on 5,049 sf of land. We're talking about 7,759 sf of building and a third of an acre as being their physical plant. They can find vacant warehouse space in the East End (aesthetically worthy of preservation-minded user, which their current facilities are not) for as low as $0.25 per square foot per month, or $23k per year. All they need to run a store are one experienced person, one well-educated but marginally employable hipster/apprentice, and a laborer and a half to do chores. Let's call it $120k for compensation. And lets give them $5k for all utilities and telecommunications needs. And then lets give them an additional $20k for miscellany. That's a $168k annual budget. I think I'm being fair.

Unless they're paying people to take goods off their hands, something about this doesn't pass the sniff test.

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