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June 05, 2013, 02:03 PM

Twenty years on Julie Karner cannot watch a building be razed

By Shirley Kay

Ironwork for sale at Crescent Moon [photo CMA&S

Wisconsin, USA - The City of Oshkosh (WI) Landmarks Commission awarded Crescent Moon Antiques and Salvage with the Acanthus Award. It has been officially recognized for Architectural Salvage and Recovery - for its professional salvage and reclamation of local architectural elements for reuse in restoration projects, May 28, 2013.

Crescent Moon has specialized in the recovery of architectural elements since 1991 in that time and has been involved and contributed material to local resident projects and downtown Oshkosh commercial restoration development projects. It also donates funds or supplies to organisations like the Paine Art Center and Gardens, Oshkosh Public Museum and Oshkosh YMCA.

A recent example of its work, in partnership with Downtown Oshkosh YMCA, was the salvage of a 1916, 7 unit apartment building which it did in the wee hours of the morning and late hours of the night, in order to bear the summer heat. Reclaimed items included numerous matching doors, windows, pocket doors, bookcase colonnades, hardware, brass push button switch covers and outlet plates. For some dealers historical research has become a part of salvaging buildings and Crescent Moon uses a research historian to look into the history. Interestingly they found that the property had originally been a house. The first record was from 1908 but by 1916 it had become Wood Apartments. It not only preserves the history of a community but it also adds to the interest from a prospective buyer of the salvaged item to know its past.

Crescent Moon is committed to seeing America's historic artefacts professionally salvaged and owner, Julie Karner, is quoted below describing the emotional side of her work.
"Before and After photos of our salvage work can appear sinister, not unlike the physical razing of a structure strongly rooted in the community. After 20 plus years salvaging historic structures, I still cannot watch a building be razed. It always makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and tears come to my eyes. It is too graphic for me. I have, in every sense, made a connection with the structure during the recovery of its historic relics and cannot bear to watch it go down. I can fully appreciate the emotions that run high in a community when one of their own for generations goes."

Crescent Moon has also provided reclaimed antique architectural material for appreciation by a wider audience in the film Public Enemies which starred Johnny Depp.

It would be good to see other communities appreciate the work architectural salvage companies do for historic preservation and for saving items that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

Crescent Moon Antiques and Salvage

Crescent Moon Antiques & Salvage Projects

Story Type:  News

ID: 75513

Date Modified: June 06, 2013, 05:01 PM

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