Not Just Scrap: City Limit Antiques and Reclaimed Materials

There is a kind of sadness to tearing down an old building. The memories of the place are gone in an instant, and the wood carries no more meaning… that is, unless the lumber can be repurposed and given a new lease on life. That is precisely what Mike Hudson does at City Limit Antiques and Reclaimed Materials, in Elbert.

In his words, “We are in the business of deconstructing old, mid to late 1800's barns to reclaim the old growth lumber to be repurposed for décor in restaurants, custom homes and retail centers. Also, many customers are purchasing the lumber for personal interior /exterior projects around the house. We specialize in dismantling each barn by hand and preserving the old growth lumber to be reused so others can enjoy.”
 

Since this is an unusual business to be in, I ask Mike what prompted him to start his shop. In 2012, he was at the end of buying out a collection of old salt glaze crocks and coffee mills when the owners wanted to take him on a tour of the custom home they had just built. “I was absolutely floored when the 80 year old couple began to tell me the story of how they constructed the interior of their home,” Mike says. “He deconstructed his grandfather’s barn that was built in 1873 and stored it for decades until the time was right to use it. The barn wood cabinets were just amazing and left me speechless! I couldn’t believe something so beautiful could be made from something so old! When I was getting ready to leave, he asked me if I wanted to purchase the remaining barn wood siding from his grandfather’s barn that had been stored safely in his attic. I bought it all! This was the beginning of something I have grown passionate about in my life and business. After deconstructing a few old barns I was amazed at the response. The public wanted to purchase a whole barn or part of a barn for their building projects. Taking down a barn yields several thousand board feet of lumber and requires a location that can house all the material reclaimed. Selecting the early 1900’s lumberyard in Elbert, Colorado was a perfect choice in bringing these materials to be stored and sold.”
 

What he loves most about his business is working directly with Kyle Green in the selection of the barns to be deconstructed. “Seeing the overwhelming challenge ahead and finishing out each project is so rewarding,” he says. “Preserving our forest is an important goal, so why not use the old growth lumber that has already been harvested?”
 

Finding barns with a history is critical in their selection process. He says, “We currently deconstructed an 1895 equestrian barn in Grand Pass, MO that has been in the same family since 1895. The landowner selected us to do this important project and shared with us that the lumber had been harvested from the boot hill of Missouri from a cypress forest. The exterior cypress siding was some of the best we have ever seen measuring a full 1 1/8” thick! Most barn wood exteriors are usually ¾” to 1” thick!”
 

When he’s not deconstructing barns and refinishing lumber, Mike enjoys “finding and buying old gas pumps, advertising signs and antiques to build my collection that I started over 20 years ago! I also enjoy cooking out on the grill with family and friends!”
 

If you feel a desire to bring a piece of history into your building projects, stop in at City Limit Antiques and Reclaimed Materials and say hello to Mike.

 

Interview Conducted in August 2015