Architectural Salvage in New Orleans

Southern ArchNew Orleans is a place with a long and colorful history and that history includes some pretty amazing architecture. Prior to 1900 much of this construction was built from ‘old growth’ native Southern Yellow Pine and Bald Cypress trees. This lumber has a superior quality, durability, and rich patina that we can no longer find in today’s ‘New Growth.’ Prior to the settlement of the U.S. these trees had grown undisturbed for  300-400 years. Originally the Southeastern region was densely populated with over 90 million acres of these trees. After years of clear-cutting and exporting  less than a hundred acres of first-generation trees remain. The remaining trees are now protected, the only way to get this unique lumber is by reclaiming it from historic structures. A post Katrina New Orleans left hundreds of properties ripe for the picking.

Enterprising companies like Southern Arch are taking advantage of that and saving some of New Orleans’ Architectural Heritage. This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Southern Arch warehouse in Belle Chase, La. To some this giant warehouse full of architectural salvage might look like a pile of rubble but to creative home owners, architects and contractors it is a pot of gold, golden pine and cypress that is.Southern ArchSouthern ArchMost of this salvage comes from deconstructing historic properties piece-by-piece and salvaging all materials for reuse. Southern Arch also takes donations of old materials saving these amazing architectural pieces from the landfills and putting them back into homes and businesses to live another life. No piece that can be reused is left behind. From shutters to doorknobs, slate roofs to flooring everything that can be saved goes back to the warehouse.

Antique flooring is reclaimed, restored, and installed in renovations or new construction. Southern Arch can create any dimension of flooring, both width and thickness, to suit your needs. This AS-IS flooring was sanded and re-finished on site with some pretty amazing results.

1240309_566655496734107_1007866660_nBut some times the AS-IS look is just what the customer is looking for, this kind of patina cannot be reproduced.Souther Arch
Southern Arch also manufactures custom mill work of all types, both reclaimed material that are cleaned up and reuse, or out of various reclaimed or new materials. There is not any piece that cannot be created or duplicate.Southern Arch
Unique pieces are salvaged from historic properties are sold AS-IS from the warehouse but Southern Arch also provides repairs, resizing, stripping, and refinishing services. Pretty much anything goes. You ask for it, they will try to make it happen.

They can even do custom furniture…Southern ArchWith every piece of architectural salvage you can think of available you are only limited by your own imagination and even then Southern Arch can help.

Whether you have a project in mind or just want to have a look around to get inspire, the Southern Arch warehouse is open to the public so drop by and have a look at the selection. The Southern Arch Facebook page has all the information you’ll need and if you’re not local it also has all the amazing photos I have shown here and much, much more. You can also check out the Southern Arch website for information on the service they offer. Either way you are in for a real treat.

We stopped by and came home with this beautiful mantel I installed at my Mom’s house. Stop by my blog next week to see the finished product…Southern Arch


  1. susan basu says:

    Hi Maggie, I am the owner of a very large antique store in BR that is closing (over 3000 pc) Many of the pieces have not been refurbished, and have good bones great carvings and details and they are all solid woods – mahogany, teak, rosewood. Most date 1800-1860. Armoires, presses, doors, book cases, and may other large pieces that can be remade into more modern and useful items. We are looking for salvage dealers that may be interested in buying lots or loads from the 9000 sq ft warehouse, as is. Please let me know if you are interested or if you know who may be. You can reach me at or 225-761-8444. Susan Basu

    • Thanks Susan. A little far to shop from Germany but I know a few people who might be interested. I will pass the information on and leave it posted here in case anyone reading may want to contact you.

  2. Michele Garsaud says:

    Hello Maggie, I love that we are reclaiming our heritage through salvage stores such as yours. I have some red roof ridge caps that I would like to sell.

    • Hi Michele, I do not own a store just blogging about some of the salvage options in New Orleans ou would have to contact some of these places directly. Sorry i can’t be of more help.

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