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Olde Good Things Salvages Stone Friezes from a Philadelphia Synagogue

For years, Olde Good Things has been involved in the reclaiming of items from many famous buildings and places of worship.  A few years back, we received the privilege of removing a very colorful original polychrome terra cotta from a Philadelphia synagogue.  Here in these pictures, you can see that many have religious emblems, but there are some which are simply decorative.


Polychrome, as the name depicts means multi-colored glazes were applied in the baking process of this terra-cotta, making the final product even more vivid and breathtaking.  Detail can be seen in these various arches which are nearly 100 years old.  They were carefully removed by the architecturologists and are now available for resale at our Scranton, PA location.

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These would be perfect for a restoration of a private or public site for worship.  Those without religious emblems can be used in many settings, including a centerpiece in a beautiful garden.

We have many building stones available at this time which are not currently seen on our site, inquire and we can send you pictures of what we may have available at this time.

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Video Tour of Salvaged Stone Yard

Hidden City – Historic West Philadelphia Jewish Community Center, Conquered By Demolition

Historic Limestone Friezes from Philadelphia Civic Center

In 1931, the Philadelphia Civic Center became the center of the arts as well as a gathering place for conventions, concerts, and sporting events. It included a museum that showcased the different trade and commerce practices from around the world, a concert venue, and a convention center. The Civic Center was influenced by the Art Deco movement; it featured several enormous and beautifully carved limestone friezes.

Philadelphia Convention Hall or Civic Center as seen prior to demolition

Philadelphia Convention Hall or Civic Center as seen prior to demolition

One of these wonderfully crafted friezes was dedicated to music. One of the functions of the Philadelphia Civic Center was a concert venue. The Beatles and Rolling Stones brought in thousands of music lovers to the center as one of the U.S. tours stop with their tickets selling out within hours. It also hosted the Jackson 5 in 1970 and the Grateful Dead in 1974 and again in 1984 as part of its music history. It because musically obsolete when another concert venue was built nearby in the 1960s. This frieze was one of the first to sell once Olde Good Things reclaimed it from the facade of Convention Hall.

The 7 piece music Frieze was carefully removed

The 7 piece music Frieze was carefully removed

Part of the history of the Philadelphia Civic Center was that it was once a museum that was home to several different items from around the world.  It held textiles, ceremonial masks and robes from around Africa, archaeological items from areas of the world such as Egypt, as well as showcased handmade fishing nets, and other anthropologically significant pieces from places such as the Philippines, China, and South America. This is one of the reasons that quite a few of the friezes included in the creation of the Civic Center were of the different continents of the world. It was to be a cultural center as well as a meeting place.

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A few of the elaborate friezes incorporated aspects of transportation, engineering, and manufacturing. The main mode of transportation when this building was built was trains and ships which transported goods around the world. It was these modes of transportation that brought the goods that were created in a factory and then taken to ports all around the world to be sold or used to make other goods.


In 2005, when the Philadelphia Civic Center was demolished, Olde Good Things reclaimed the detailed architectural pieces. Their restoration team took great care in the removal of each of the colossal pieces, including around ornamental frieze of the Philadelphia seal.

The Philadelphia seal before removalEach piece was carefully removed and stored at our Scranton warehouse.

Each piece was carefully removed from the face of the building using lifts to guide them down to the ground to be transported to the Olde Good Things warehouse to be stored. These spectacular specimens of art, music, and commercial history are currently available for purchase and can be viewed on the Olde Good Things website.


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Philadelphia Civic Center Frieze Finds a New Home in Bayonne New Jersey

Salvaged Antique Door Hardware from Philadelphia Civic Center

Famous Building Artifacts at Olde Good Things

One of the best parts of being the number one architectural salvage company is the country is getting to preserve items of interest from famous buildings all over the United States. These pieces provide our employees and our customers with a very real sense of our nation’s history, and having the privilege of storing and/or restoring these amazing pieces is something we truly appreciate. To that end, we’d like to take the time to share with some of our online customers some of the pieces we’ve come into contact with here at Olde Good Things over the years.

This gorgeous ceramic tile mantel was salvaged from the famous Jonsonia Iver Johnson building in Fitchburg, MA. The building was damaged by fire in 2011, but as you can see, this piece remains in good condition. We were able to salvage two of these ceramic mantles from the building. The richly colored tiles are beautifully crackled, and the mantles feature some amazingly beautiful detail, which you can see in the second picture above. These pieces were manufactured by the Hartford Faience Co., and can be found below.


Iver Johnson Building Ceramic Tile Mantel
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Iver Johnson Building Ceramic Tile Mantel
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This beautiful architectural plaque was once a part of the National American Building, which was located on New York City’s Madison Avenue. The building was designed by renowned architect Joseph H. Freedlander, who firmly believed that architecture created for business and industry could still be beautiful. The plaque is made of heavy bronze, and has a gorgeous patina. The carving on the plaque is incredibly detailed – from the delicately draped clothing worn by the figures to the rope edging surrounding the piece. This lovely plaque would make an excellent addition to any home or building.


Large Bronze Architectural Plaque from New York City
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The Pennsylvania Civic Center was erected in 1929 and was used for many years to house events such as sporting matches and political conventions. Our trip to the building before it’s demolition allowed us to salvage a number of terra cotta and limestone friezes, as shown below. These pieces formerly hung on the wall of the building, and each of these pieces was one of a kind. They would make a unique decorative addition to your home or office, whether used individually, or hung as a set. You can see them, as well as a number of other items from the building in our inventory below.


Original Carved Africa Frieze from Philadelphia Civic Center
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Original Australia Frieze from Philadelphia Civic Center

Original Australia Frieze from Philadelphia Civic Center
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South America Limestone Frieze from Philadelphia Civic Center
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Philadelphia Civic Center Engineering & Manufacturing Frieze
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Philadelphia Civic Center Commerce Limestone Frieze
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Philadelphia Civic Center Construction Limestone Frieze
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An item salvaged from one of our country’s famous buildings can not only provide you with a unique and interesting decorative piece, it can also give your home or office a real feeling of history. These pieces are ones that will make excellent conversation starters, and really add to the style and tone that you are trying to create in the space where you live your life. If you’d like to take a look at more of our famous architectural salvage, contact us for more information on any piece featured in this article.

All inventory salvaged from Philadelphia Civic Center
View all the Famous Building Artifacts

Cherub Angel Relief Now Available

Terracotta frieze reclaimed from Baltimore building

Terracotta frieze reclaimed from Baltimore building

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, and Cupid fresh on our minds, OGT is offering something a little special for our customers.

This salvaged multi-piece poly-chrome terracotta cherub frieze was one of twelve that were carefully removed, pieced back together, and restored to their original, incredible glory.

Reclaimed from the facade of a demolished building in Baltimore, Maryland, this cherub frieze was salvaged early on by Olde Good Things. Purchased years ago, this piece is now back on the market, looking for a new place to call home, a new place to brighten and beautify.

Here it is pictured on display at one of many outdoor markets that Olde Good Things attends.


As seen on original building

The architecturologists at work with careful removal








This piece would be a perfect ground mosaic in a garden, or a wall mosaic in a home or restaurant.

This one was built into an entryway foyer

If you’d like to learn more about the history of this piece, or if you’d like to see what else Olde Good Things has in it’s expanding inventory, contact us.

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