Sunday, May 30, 2010

One of my favorite stores

Sorry to those out side of Chicago, this will probably be of very little use to you, But I was at one of my favorite antique stores today and was reminded of how amazing it is. The Penn-Dutchman (at 4912 N Western, 773-271-2208, is pretty much made for props masters. In an amazing feat the owner Jim Mowery has succeeded in organizing and selling every little piece of clutter and ephemera you can imagine. The front room (he will tell you there are 13 rooms, though I think he is counting some walk-in closets that he has filled) is full of much more typical antique store pieces, furniture, dishes, delicate figurines etc, but as you move further into the store you realize he doesn't just sell the typical high-profit-margin antiques. He sells everything.
There are stacks of drawers all over the shop with labels so you can find vintage advertising, political buttons, tie clips, yo yo's, house keys and everything else.
He doesn't just save and sell whole things either. There are endless supplies of hardware, doorknobs, hinges and handles.
One of my favorite rooms is filled with bins and bins of old photos. He has some from every decade and of every sort of subject matter. He has even gone so far as to file some of them meticulously be content (barbeques, dogs, rhode island, women, men, couples etc.)
In back there is a rack of old table and chair legs, you might find a matching pair, you might not, but the price is right and you won't find turnings like these at the Home Depot when you are working on a period piece.
Upstairs there is a room of fabric: old clothes, bed sheets and table cloths. Things that could be used as is or cut up to create a costume or maybe a throw pillow. There is a room of silver and pewter dishes that can be a pain to root through, but has turned up some wonderful pieces for me.
On top of all of this, Jim is expanding into a trailer behind the store, so there is more excitement to come. Also he's a really wonderful guy. He knows the history of so many of the things he sells, appreciates the value in something being perfectly beautifully distressed and really likes artists and creative people. If you have a chance you should really check it out, I promise it will be worth the trip.

1 comment:

  1. This looks so neat! I will either have to drag Kieran there someday or we should go together sometime!!