Urban Archaeology

October 7, 2010

I’m not exactly sure where the light fixtures were sourced for the white kitchen in my post dated April 15, but I’m going to guess they were from Urban Archaeology.  A leader in the industry for quality light fixtures, house parts and tile Urban Archaeology has an impressive and easy to navigate website if you’re in the market for new ( or old ) lights.  Thats right new and used… at Urban Archaeology, restoring, reusing and recycling is in their blood and has been part of the business since 1978.  Salvaged lighting is put to a new use instead of ending up as landfill, and many of their fixtures can be fitted with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. A great number of the items manufactured by Urban Archaeology are cast from recycled brass.

In the early 1970s founder, Gil Shapiro, was at the forefront of the nascent salvaging movement; with a collector’s eye and an entrepreneurial spirit he capitalized on the burgeoning home restoration movement and the growing trend in eclectic home décor, re-imagining architectural remnants in the home environment.   In 1978 he opened his first store in SoHo ( New York City ) selling restored pieces, and demand quickly outweighed supply. Clients craved pedigree and patina yet wanted it made to their modern specifications—longer, wider, higher and larger. The company’s focus shifted to reproducing individual pieces and creating new and original lines of lighting, bath accessories, bathtubs, washstands, freestanding and wall mounted cabinets. He excelled at bringing a fresh perspective to pieces of historical and architectural importance. The ever growing line of products originated in such places as the Plaza Hotel, New York’s Yale Club and the St. Regis Hotel. Urban Archaeology is one of the only surviving manufacturing companies left in downtown Manhattan.  Customers have a unique opportunity to collaborate with the company’s own team of skilled craftsmen to customize any product from its extensive lighting, bath and tile collections or to create designs suited to any space or creative vision.

And did you know…Ceramic tile is an inherently green building solution because it is made from naturally occurring, sustainable materials, emits no VOCs, requires no harsh chemicals for cleaning and will last a lifetime. When sourced locally, ceramic tile has one of the lowest amounts of embodied energies and thus the smallest carbon footprint of any covering. More than half of their tile lines are made in the USA, of which over a dozen are made using recycled content. Seventeen tile lines are made within 500 miles of the New York Area reducing the amount of fossil fuels used in shipping ( provided you live on the East Coast ). For more information see:www.tilethenaturalchoices.com

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