22 April 2009

Beloved Curiosity: Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I grew up in a little country town in North Alabama, called Cullman. It was a small town with gorgeous Victorian and Georgian and Arts and Crafts homes. The downtown was comprised of a few square blocks with an appliance store that still flies brightly colored balloons and streamers outside its doors, a German toy store that sells lederhosen and nesting dolls, and a bakery, The Duchess, that to this day sells 40cent cookies.

One of those city blocks houses a great hidden treasure of the nation--Southern Accents Architectural Antiques. Housed in the 1901 county undertaker's building (the brick exterior still visibly read "UNDERTAKER") are the door knobs, claw-foot tubs, carved mantles, chandeliers, hardware, windows, and more of eras long passed.

Family-owned, Southern Accents is a mecca for the architecturally obsessed. People fly from around the country to peruse the building that still has the original wood floors and piping from the old Undertaker.

They have an extensive Web site catalog of current items at www.sa1969.com. But nothing compares to going there yourself and exploring, though they do ship anywhere...

If you are in Alabama and looking for a nice day trip in this beautiful Springtime weather, you'll find Southern Accents north of Birmingham on I-65 and south of Hunstville on I-65.

Their address is: 308 2nd Ave. S.E.
Cullman, Al 35055

Here are a few photos I took a couple weeks ago when the husband and I stopped in for a visit.

And here are a few photos from Southern Accent's Web site, of current items they have in stock...

LEFT: cast iron sink, $1450.
RIGHT: terra cotta from a building in Chicago (set of 5), $275 each.

double arch beveled and colored rondels stained glass, 14.5"x60," $850.

LEFT: leaded glass windows, 20"x29," $235/pair.
RIGHT: crystal chandelier, 35"x18," $1250.

LEFT: heartpine half mantel, 58'x50," $375.
RIGHT: pine full mantel, 62"x79," $2750.

LEFT: set of gates, 56"x90," $950.
RIGHT: oak gothic-style door, 34.5"x80," $900.

cast iron entry gate, 9' in middle/7' on sides/14' wide, $2850/set

LEFT: heartpine double doors from Chicago, both sides stained, 30"x8,' call for inquiry.
RIGHT: pine door with window with strap hinges, 79"x36," $1850.

cast aluminum benches and chairs, many styles to choose from, call for inquiry.

folding pews, all stained w/metal ends, from an 1887 church in Shelbyville, TN
10' long, 30 benches total, $525 each.

LEFT: overview of window sashes in stock, $15 each.
RIGHT: Providential Tile Works, Trenton, NJ, 6"x6," $45 each.

For more information, give the Gudger family a call at Southern Accents. Or just drive up there. You can walk around, take some photos, and get a 40 cent cookie at the Duchess.


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