Bringing Down the House

Photograph by Marvin Shaouni

In just three years, the Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit has saved 1,000 tons of material that would’ve otherwise been lost to the wrecking ball. A nonprofit salvage and resale organization, ASWD is committed to reducing landfill use, offering unique, low-cost materials for restoring and rebuilding homes, and providing training and jobs for low-income Detroiters. Through donations and their deconstruction efforts — a systematic process that can salvage up to 85 percent of what would normally be demolition debris — they’ve stocked their warehouse with an ever-changing inventory that includes everything from complete kitchens to flooring, windows, and doors. “The Detroit area has been slow to embrace the movement toward environmental sustainability,” says ASWD executive director Tom Freisen. “As a result, much of the great architectural history of the area has been lost.” Thankfully, ASWD is changing that one thousand tons at a time. For more information call 313-896-8333 or visit

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