Salvaging a Future Trend
My friend Mike is a huge classic car enthusiast…he specializes in certain 60’s model Mercedes. His appreciation runs deep and can identify designer, maker, year etc. on almost any part. I have another friend, Tim who only restores 1935 Fords. My aficionado friends as well as many others religiously follow the cars, attend the shows, trade, buy and live a lifestyle around this passion.
I find as I dig deeper into renovations and the salvaging of older relics, I’m finding a growing interest in historic buildings. Does the next phase of collecting older relics like signs and cars extend into owning a collection of older buildings?
Will the Woolworth buildings, JC Penny’s, painted lady Victorians or the 50’s Atomic Ranch of years gone by be the collectibles among aficionados going forward? One unique angle to owning buildings is that they can serve multiple purposes. While one cannot cruise Route 66, or what’s left of it in an old Woolworth building, one can collect rents from the one of kind spaces that tenants seem to find so fascinating.
The craftsmanship of older buildings can be compared to the craftsmanship of older cars. Getting under the hood of a ‘59 Chevy is as exciting to some as exposing the tin ceilings hidden behind 30 years of dropped ceilings in a turn of the century corner drug store.
Building owners can’t tour their buildings around like classic cars, but I imagine tours will be taken just to see the variations in building architecture, finishes and how local population and culture played their part in the creation of these unique structures. Collectors will tour others collectors signature buildings to see the way their restorations have gone and “open the hood” for a behind the scenes peak at the artistry in each buildings origins.
My crystal ball is cloudy at times and while I doubt any swap meets will evolve with historic buildings like our local Turkey Rod Run has with classic cars, I do think investors and collectors of historic buildings will start to emerge and rather than a garage full of classic cars, we will begin to see collections of historic building housed in cities or states throughout the US.