I made a long overdue trip to The Old House Society in Bloomington, Illinois this past weekend. May is Preservation Month, and since I am working on a house built in 1900 – I figured that there is no better time to preserve the past quite like the present.
Not that it needs too much explanation, but The Old House Society is an organization that strives to protect historic architectural details and related parts by salvaging them from homes of the past. The storefront location is a warehouse of all their findings.
I had heard about OHS when I moved back to the area, and everyone kept recommending I check it out. I tried finding it about a year ago, but not knowing the area very well I got lost in an old historic district instead. That works too, but I really did want to find it.
This time around I had no troubles find the place. It’s actually right off downtown in an area I have been by before but must have been looking around like the blogging tourist I am. When I pulled up and saw historic treasures seeping out of all openings of the building, I knew I was in the right place.
It’s truly amazing how much this place has. It overflows out onto the sidewalk and off to the side of the building. I walked inside and my head nearly flew off my neck. I was overwhelmed by how much this unsuspecting location has… and then I went even further in and discovered the back room.
As it turns out, I’d be here for a while…
From tiles to tubs, lumber to lights, they’ve got you covered. It’s really part museum and part shopping experience in one, so how can you not like that?
The staff is incredibly friendly and will dig all the way to the bottom of the pile to make sure you get what you came for. Myself, I came to find some trim that hadn’t been matched properly in past attempts. With the knowledge of some dedicated helpers I was able to find just enough to make ends meet.
An old house aficionado or anyone who can appreciate the craftsmanship of older homes, The Old House Society is a place that puts history at your fingertips in order for you to reuse. It’s safe to say that I’ll be back soon. Although Preservation Month is 31 days long it’s something good to practice 365 days a year.
If you go:The Old House Society 214 E. Douglas St. Bloomington, IL 61702 Hours: Wed, Fri & Sat – 8am to 5pm
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