By Laila Gohar
The city of Cleveland, once an industrial heartland, lost two-thirds of its population in the latter part of the 21st century. Emigration due to loss of manufacturing jobs resulted in 15,000 vacant houses, which are being demolished over the course of the next 10 years. Each year, millions of tons of materials from these demolitions are shipped to landfills by the truck full.
Deej Lincoln, a native Clevelander, decided to make better use of the waste with Reclaimed Cleveland in 2010. The retail and custom furnishing company repurposes local materials that would otherwise be bound for the landfills to create heirloom quality furniture and objects that include everything from wood iPhone skins to complete interior projects, all of which is crafted by a team of skilled carpenters. Most of the lumber is sourced from structures set for demolition—houses, churches or retails spaces—while other material sources include urban trees removed by the city to make way for utilities.
Each piece is unique and traceable to its origin, with all of the company’s products stamped with the address of the structure from which the lumber was reclaimed. The company’s website also includes a “Salvages” section, where photos of the torn down structures are posted. Most of the structures slated for demolition are around a century old, and were built with high quality lumber that is as dense as it is beautiful. “We marry Cleveland’s industrious heritage with materials recovered from the very buildings that helped make our city and country great,” says Lincoln.
You can get more information about Reclaim Cleveland on their website.
Images courtesy of Reclaimed Cleveland