In an effort to share more about the process of opening our second location in Springfield, we thought it would be fun to write about our trip north to St. Clair, MO to pick up about 1,300 lbs. worth of antique doors...
We knew we wanted to use old doors in our building, both for our actual doors and also for the front of our counters. If you've been to our store in Harrison you might have noticed that our counter facades are all antique doors turned on their side. It's pretty awesome and we wanted the same aesthetic in our new location. We told our architect to plan for this and then, well, we promptly moved on to one of the other million projects we're currently juggling. Then, our contractor called and said "where are your doors?" and we were like "oh, right...doors!"
In a fortuitous way, we already had a contact for these doors. As you may well know, thanks in part to Pinterest, the interest in antique doors has SKYROCKETED since our original location was built in 2000. Initially, we had a hard time tracking these down but one day we were in Bentonville, AR and we drove by a little garage-type building and someone in the car shouted "OLDE WORLD DOOR" and then we made a U-Turn in the road and found this guy's amazing workshop. Adrian, the owner, helped us secure two, incredible 125-year-old Cypress wood doors that we'll be using as our bathroom entrances. He also gave us his contact for a man named Harry up in St. Clair.
After the panicked called from our contractor, we decided we had to go see Harry the next day. Armed with an address and a grainy photo of the 5000 sq. foot warehouse full of doors in St. Clair, we took off with a huge trailer in tow.
It was a hot, hot day at the end of summer - the Sunday before Labor Day, actually. We were all pretty anxious about securing the doors we needed; our contractor was waiting on us to deliver everything the next day. We also had to drive this huge trailer down I-44 and we were, to be frank, not overly excited about that.
Hours later we arrived, took one look around this warehouse full of buried treasure and were off to the races. You're thinking, wouldn't it be easy to find what you needed? Not exactly. See, we're limited by the dimensions of the doors by ADA codes. Of course, we're happy to oblige, but it made finding doors that would work quite a bit more difficult. 100-year-old doors were just smaller because people were smaller back then. Most of the ones we found were either too narrow or too short.
Finally, with Harry's help, we landed on some gorgeous ones that would work. The one we secured for our bakery entrance dates back to 1890 and came from an old home in East St. Louis! We know approx. how old it is because it was a pocket-door (that means it was a sliding door that was on a track and when you opened it it slid into the wall) that has little wheels on the bottom of it. Harry explained that around the turn of the century they stopped making the pocket doors with wheels on bottom and started using the ceiling-tracks instead. This door has gorgeous details and is painted a unique color of yellow.
We also found two matching doors for our main entrance. These, too, date back to around 1890-1900. They are a matching pair and their stain is just beautiful when in the sunlight. These 6-panel doors are pretty rare. We will have a few of the top panels removed from these doors and glass will be installed. They just don't make doors like this anymore...
We also picked up 9 massive 5-panel doors that we will flip on side, cut and use for our counter fronts. Every single one of these doors came out of St. Louis so we think that's pretty cool, too!
After hours of being in the warehouse (with no A.C. might I add) we loaded up the trailer. Harry offered us Cherry Pepsi and we were like "sure, why not?" The gentlemen in the group then spent at least an hour strapping everything down. I was mostly getting impatient and sweating like a maniac, but I guess it's a good thing we strapped everything down really well. We didn't lose any doors on the interstate, and for that, I am grateful.
A few hours later we made it back to Springfield and dropped off all our doors at a storage unit we have. Our contractors came by the next morning to survey the damage and start the process of framing them. When we unloaded we had a chance to stand everything up and take photos. I was giddy about everything we found. Even though it was a long, hard, hot, somewhat-stressful day - we have our antique doors. They are beautiful and will add so much character to our building. Be sure to look out for them when you enter once we open later this year.
Thanks for reading!
Olde World Door - Bentonville, AR - http://www.oldeworlddoor.com/
we also sourced a few other antique doors from Cross Creek Artifacts in Springfield, MO