Monday, February 7, 2011

Sustainable Sunday (OK - belated): The ReBuilding Center

There were doors.

Rows and rows and rows of rough-cut racks holding up doors. Interior, exterior, old, new, wooden, metal, glass...i stood in awe looking at all of them, my mind dreaming up new projects one after another.

This was the experience I had on my first visit to the ReBuilding Center in Portland. I found this nonprofit organization dedicated to recycling, waste-reduction, and art a veritable smorgasbord of reclaimed building supplies. The door-lover in me rejoiced.

The ReBuilding Center offers a number of incredible services to the Portland community. From taking donations of used building supplies, to offering demolition and reclamation services, the ReBuilding Center seeks to promote sustainability and recycling while providing people with low-cost supplies for construction. Housed on N. Mississippi, the Center is a warehouse labyrinth where one can get lost amid piles of used tile, shelves of old sinks, and stacks of lumber. Visitors are encouraged to wander through the warehouse seeking treasures. Once ready to check out, one finds an employee who assesses the wares and issues a ticket bearing prices.

The Center also offers a great number of community-building programs, events and workshops. They offer classes such as window repair or project planning, provide tours of the Center to community groups an schools, and work with local artists to raise funds through the creation of "rebuilt" furniture and auctioning off doors that have been turned into masterpieces.

On our first trip to the Center we walked away with a cupboard door and a couple of newel posts that Jason has turned into a coffee table. This weekend I purchased door knobs and a door jamb that I will be turning into a couple of coat racks. Whatever the project, large or small, a great way to find quality materials at low, low prices is to head on out to the ReBuilding Center.


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