Steel City Salvage has been harvesting building materials from the thousands of empty buildings in Gary, and now it's going to start selling them.
The nonprofit, which eventually plans to open a brick-and-mortar retail storefront, will sell reclaimed building materials at a pop-up shop and block party from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the U.S. Steel Yard at 1 Stadium Plaza in Gary.
People can buy salvaged items including doors, windows, lumber, salvage, coasters and wall-mounted bottle openers at the free event, which will include food from ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, beverages, a photo booth and music by DJ CiTy MiX. Other Gary nonprofits such as Gary Poetry Project, Preserve Gary and the Decay Devils plan to take part.
"This should appeal to the do-it-your-self crew who are making fixes at their own homes and are kind of crafty," said Eve Pytel, director of the Delta Institute, the group that procured a grant from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to pursue the Steel City Salvage Initiative. "This is our first pop-up. We're testing to see what people respond to. If we sell out of coasters, we'll try to procure more. If someone wants a row of pews for their house, we'll make arrangements to get it there."
Steel City Salvage has trained contractors how to retrieve lumber and other salvageable items from vacant homes and businesses. The group is working on setting up a retail warehouse and also plans to sell items recovered from abandoned buildings online. It's also planning more pop-up shops in the future.
"People probably have never seen anything like this," Pytel said. "The real reason to come out is some of the beauty inside Gary's structures that they may have passed over. There are endless possibilities with all the items that have been reclaimed."
Anyone who's interested in more information should visit www.delta-institute.org or call Pytel at 312-554-0900.