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Best Junk Store 

Architectural Artifacts of

St. Louis Inc.

If you troll down Lafayette Avenue looking for Architectural Artifacts, you won't see any signs in front of the huge red-brick building. In fact, the number isn't even in the phone book and the doors are only open to the public between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays. To call the treasures inside the boarded-up warehouse "junk" would be ludicrous. Then again, if it wasn't for Bruce Gerrie and his team of salvage hounds, thousands of old doors, stained-glass windows and fireplace mantels that once graced St. Louis homes would have been thrown into a landfill when the houses fell to a wrecking ball. Thankfully, at least some of the city's architectural past has been saved for those of us who get teary-eyed at the sight of a five-foot-wide mahogany pocket door or a piece of red-veined marble rescued from the Ambassador Theater. Stuffed inside the old Dad's Root Beer bottling plant are more than 600 antique solid wood doors -- interior, exterior, glass-paned and paneled. One set of double doors from Argentina measures twelve and a half feet tall and sells for $5,000. If that's not in your budget, check out the hundreds of glass, brass and porcelain doorknobs and plates, scads of light fixtures, pallets full of sought-after St. Louis red brick and endless yards of stairs and railings. What a find!

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