Society of Salvage Proves a Picker's Paradise

Don’t mind the dust at this offbeat store.

Commercial real-estate agent Sandra Jarvis tends to get distracted by old furniture and fixtures when she shows industrial properties. A couple of years ago, she gave in and bought an auction lot of Mad Men–era appointments from the southside General Motors factory, as well as cabinets and medical equipment from the plant’s hospital. More acquisitions followed, including the entire contents of a dentist’s office, right down to pulled teeth (to the quirky Jarvis’s delight). Interior designers kept Jarvis (above, right) and her sister, Shelly, busy for a year, but now the pair has gone public with Society of Salvage in a warehouse near downtown. Along with the jarred chompers and other oddities good for gawking at, a few GM gems remain, such as a double-sided apothecary cabinet ($3,500) perfect for kitchen storage. Most of the finds require similar imagination, but not everything. The back room holds a trove of oversized letters, plus excellent lighting from Jeremiah Goss of Rewired Antiques, who has sold fixtures to Ray LaMontagne and Rebecca Romijn. 1021 E. Michigan St., 317-418-9501,

Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the April 2014 issue.