Making a Bad Habit Good

Our Tobacco Lath Nesting Tables are comprised of a minimalist metal base and reclaimed pine tobacco lath sticks.

Here's how it works: After cut tobacco plants have wilted, the large stems are poked through with a metal tip attached to a thin piece of wood called a "lath" until there are six or eight plants on the stick. The metal tip is then removed and placed on another tobacco lath and the procedure starts all over again. When "stringing" the tobacco plants, the lath can either be propped upright against the ground, or held on a framework called a "horse" for drying.

So that's the history and you can see how cool they look in stylish room setting. To order, you can click right here and buy them from Anthropologie.

Also, check out our website for other reclaimed creations.

Krystle and Alexis Would Have Cracked Their Heads

Gone are those Dynasty days of glass-top coffee tables where any catfight could lead to a shattered mess in your well-appointed living room. As we've become more civilized with our nighttime dramas, so too have our accent pieces.

Our reclaimed timber slab coffee table exudes green sensibility and substantial earthiness. Coupled with angled steel legs for a modernist appeal, the piece becomes the perfect marriage of past and future.

Available in 54x40 or 48x27 sizes.

For more information contact us at 920-380-4149 x105

What Ever Happened to Jimmy McAlister?

Yeah, we all watched the clock when Mrs. Parsons would drone on about fractions and you did everything you could not to laugh as Jimmy McAlister did that thing with his eyelids. Now you can tap into that creative spirit of yours and design your own clock face on reclaimed schoolhouse chalkboards. The ledge is reclaimed Douglas Fir. AND we handmake them in Wisconsin.

We offer these exclusively through Uncommon Goods, but you're more than welcome to check out our other stuff

Uncommonly Good Table Accessories

The chalkboards at Franklin Elementary School in Quincy, Illinois must have been good in their former life, because they've been reincarnated as these smart coasters and cheeseboards.

This particular samsara of slate took place in our Wisconsin workshop and both are available for purchase at Uncommon Goods: here and here.

It's Prounounced Burry not Berry.

If you haven't been to Burberry lately, it's a lot more than black, tan and red haymarket check.

We've seen the company grow and evolve as the iconic tartan-weilding clothier debuted the "exploded" Novacheck and the even more exploded Housecheck.

Now, we get to be part of the story. Urban Evolutions was proud to be asked to provide the flooring for the new Burberry Brit store on Madison Avenue in New York.

We're psyched to have our hand-finished red and white oak flooring (salvaged in Wisconsin) find such a modern and trend-setting home.

Lima Inside the Beltway

Sure, you could travel to Lima, grab a fuel-guzzling plane to Cusco, and ride a ramshackle bus that probably runs on coal tar and endangered scarlet macaw tears up to Machu Picchu, where, in an altitude-induced fugue, you’ll most likely step on a rare and beautiful Andean mountain cat, but why go to the trouble? Peru can come to you, with the understated style and environmentally conscious élan of reclaimed pine timbers and white oak flooring from Urban Evolutions.

Peruvian Connection, a retailer of exquisitely crafted Peruvian clothing, accessories, and home décor, chose Urban Evolutions to provide the flooring for its newest location in Washington, D.C. The shop also has locations in Kansas City, Santa Fe, Manchester Center, Vermont, and, of course, Henley-On-Thames, England, where it sells its wonderful wares, all of which are completely original and most of which have been crafted exclusively for Peruvian Connection.

No doubt the store sought to bring the same distinction and unique flair that it’s become famous for to its interiors. To that end, our white oak flooring acts as the perfect base for the colors and textures that fill the space.

For more info, take a look at the company Web site.

Miss Otis Regrets She Didn't Recycle

It’s one thing to reclaim old-world building materials and extract some crude utilitarian value; it’s another thing entirely to do it with an eye toward transforming those materials through sleek and modern design.

At Urban Evolutions, we understand the difference between simply rescuing materials and genuinely giving them new life — between true reclamation and bare-bones recycling.

One is Cole Porter sung with a sultry panache in a vintage Manhattan martini lounge; the other is Bob Denver traveling around the country doing autograph signings in his Gilligan costume.

All of the above-pictured items demonstrate our knack for reimagining reclaimed materials through modern design while at the same time retaining a dash of rustic dignity.

Here’s the rundown:

60-inch Round Reclaimed Cypress Table. Our round dining table uses four timber legs and a beautiful reclaimed cypress top. The table is also available in reclaimed pine.

Tank Decking Runner Table. This reclaimed elm dining table features an inset runner of weathered Douglas fir, which was originally used as decking around large vinegar tanks.

Pickle Barrel Tank Stock Dresser. This versatile four-drawer dresser can just as easily be used as a console or sideboard. The addition of reclaimed cypress or Douglas fir to the dark-stained acacia wood adds a warm, reclaimed feel to this contemporary piece.

Vertical Plank Bed. Constructed of reclaimed Douglas fir, redwood and cypress, our vertical plank bed features handsome woods in varied widths to create a clean look. The platform construction allows it to seamlessly integrate with clean-lined interiors.

Reclaimed Timbers. Our reclaimed timbers are available in hand-sculpted and scooped forms. Each provides an ideal coffee table, end table, or pure sculptural accent to a room. Wood species include reclaimed heart pine, hemlock and Douglas fir.

Nike and Urban Evolutions Do Their Bit for the Environment

When Nike Sportswear at 21 Mercer Street opened in SoHo, New York, the glitterati on the guest list included Serena Williams, Spike Lee, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Travis McCoy, and Urban Evolutions’ 3 1/4-inch maple with original patina reclaimed from American Tobacco.

Used for the wall, floor, and display treatments, our reclaimed maple wood, from American Tobacco’s Greenville, North Carolina, facility stood by with a stately Southern dignity as rappers and Wimbledon champions came together — in a rare display of modern kismet — at a common ground that must surely rival a Greenwich Village studio apartment in landmass — the feting of fashionable quality footwear.

Ah, but everyone from DJ and sneakerfreak Bobbito Garcia (aka DJ Cucumberslice, Boogie Bob, Kool Bob Love, Bobbito the Barber) (pictured) to Katy Perry to nine-time Grand Slam champ Serena Williams loves the Earth. Our maple stood in quiet testimony to Nike’s abiding concern for the environment and dedication to green materials.

And while public smoking has become hopelessly déclassé in NYC’s trendiest borough, the industry’s effects have at last given a healthy, eco-friendly glow to the local shoe-selling concern.

It was a great night, and we’re proud to have been a part of it. A much-deserved thank you goes out to Nike and the celebrities who attended.

For a second look at the event, go here and here.

Pink and Green Go Together at This Stylish Eatery

Now you can go green, think pink, and — we don’t know — maybe randomly verb some other color all at the same time.

When the famously fun Mexican mini-chain Pink Taco opened a third location in Century City, Los Angeles, they asked us to create custom tabletops from reclaimed materials.

What’s Spanish for “tickled pink”? (Horrible line. Sorry. The blog’s been hacked into by Parade magazine again.)

Pink Taco’s brazenly unique décor and signature painted finish provide a daring and ideal complement to the character of our reclaimed antique maple and pine.

With locations in Vegas, Scottsdale, Arizona, and now L.A., Pink Taco is fast making a splash on the Western frontier, winning over diners with its festive ambience and flair for fun.

In 2006, the restaurant bid on the naming rights to the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium in Glendale. Sadly, the Cardinals currently play on the drearily named University of Phoenix Stadium instead of Pink Taco Coliseum!, which just about everyone in the world apart from Arizona Cardinals management and the NFL commissioner would much prefer.

Fortunately, if you live in the Southwest or on the coast or are due for a visit, you can enjoy a piquant repast in a unique setting, knowing that the restaurant’s owners like to blend environmentally sound decisions with a dash of joyful verve. Whether working on new construction or a retrofit, reclaimed wood tabletops remain a great green option for the food service industry — something that Pink Taco and a growing number of restaurateurs well understand.

Sleep Environmentally Sound

Remember back when you courted your sweetheart under the dappled, ochre light of a harvest moon, stealing kisses in the ol’ pine barn down by Apple Creek? Of course you don’t! You’re not a hundred.

But just in case Willard Scott does happen to reduce your century of life to a nauseatingly avuncular six-second Smucker’s plug sometime in the near future, we have a way for you to recapture that old magic while feeling both comfy and trendy at the same time.

The wood in this chic, modern Richardson Reeves bed is reclaimed planking from turn-of-the-century barn floors and rafters.

Featured in Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalog (when he’s not on set, he comes in for two hours on Wednesdays and eats all the bagels — allegedly), this piece will lend a cool, rich, natural gravitas to your princely bedchamber while letting you rest easy in the knowledge that its American manufacturers have environmentally friendly materials in mind.

Click here for ordering info. And go here and here if you want to check out some of the fine work Mr. Redford does on behalf of the cinematic arts and the environment.

Slated for Success

Now you can experience a slice of life from a turn-of-the-century American schoolhouse, without all the rampant consumption, pitiless discipline, and crushing agrarian poverty.

Our antique slate chalkboard — currently featured in the Viva Terra catalog — was reclaimed from late 19th and early 20th century schools.

The slates have been shrunk down to handy kitchen-friendly sizes, so if you’re going to make your kids write anything 100 times thereon, tell ‘em to fetch some seriously pointy chalk.

This item will add a touch of nostalgic flair to any home while serving as a conversation starter at cocktail parties, family functions, and barn-raisin’s. And it’s handy as heckfire.

Back in the day, these hard-to-find scholastic symbols were fixtures in American schools. Students once used handheld slates in an unwieldy system where teachers were forced to write out lessons individually. In the early 1800s, West Point Military Academy pioneered the use of the large slate chalkboard, and by the 1850s — spurred on by the burgeoning railroad industry — it was a tried-and-true (and essential) facet of the American educational system that allowed teachers to educate ever-larger broods of brats.

Own a piece of that exquisite surface that helped nurture generations of malleable American minds. And if you’re so inclined, learn more about the history of slate boards. It’s fascinating. No, really.

We The Free

We The Free is the latest brand to come out of Urban Outfitters. With the first store up and running in Brooklyn, Chicago and LA are not far behind.

We had nothing to do with the red carpeting

Yes, Virginia, there is an architectural salvage company that creates custom trade show spaces.

This particular space was designed and constructed for Ryan Michael at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. It features reclaimed white oak flooring, barn board walls with original paint, and custom metalwork hanging systems. Border that with some 'hooker red' carpeting and you got yourself a show booth.

To discuss similar projects, contact us at 920-380-4149.


Think of it as architectural skin grafts. Okay, that's just creepy.

Still, our hand-hewn timber skins offer a great way of adding a rich textural wood without the weight and size of full timbers.

Reclaimed Redwood Tank Stock

Our distinctive redwood is reclaimed from Chicago rooftop water tanks. We have no idea where the water goes now, but that's not really our responsibility. Still, the reclaimed wood is ideal for exterior decking and structures.

Contact us at 920-380-4149 Lynn x124 or Jeff x108

Historic woods from the Thomas Edison Factory

In 1917, Thomas Alva Edison purchased the Wisconsin Cabinet and Panel Company to produce cabinets for his 1877 invention, the phonograph. The factory was changed to Edison Wood Products. The company continued to make phonograph cabinets until 1927. During the depression, the consumer demand for phonographs slowed because they were considered a luxury item. The company began producing infant furniture under the name of Edison Little Folks. This furniture line survived until 2005 as part of the Simmons Juvenile products Co. at the same location, 613 East Beacon Avenue, New London, Wisconsin.

The historic location has yielded extraordinary maple flooring, hemlock timers and bricks.

Edison holds 1,093 patents for his inventions, including the little known 1915 version of Guitar Hero.

Terrain @ Styer's Wins Phili Flower Show

To debut their new brand, Terrain showed at the 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show. Reclaimed materials provided by Urban Evolutions.

Apparently, this video was shot during the formalwear competition of the show.

Whiskey tank oak

UE's whiskey oak and hand-hewn timber table for Sundance.

Our oak whiskey tank stock is reclaimed from large vats used in the fermentation process. The result yields an intoxicating character in the aged wood.

(Yeah, we used a bad pun... deal with it).

Applications include furniture, flooring, wall treatments and any other cool way you can think to use it. For pricing and samples, contact Lynn at 920-380-4149 x124.

Tobacco lathe @ Terrain

Tobacco lathe/sticks were used for drying tobacco leaves. Here we used them as a ceiling treatment for Terrain.

Applications are limitless.

Call for samples and pricing: 920-380-4149 x124

We are in no way affiliated with Philip Morris.

UE mushroom wood @ Terrain

Image: Urban Evolutions mushroom wood siding for Terrain

These cypress and hemlock planks were used to grow mushrooms. They have a rich textural appearance created as a result of the enzymes released during the mushroom growing process. This wood does not have psychedelic properties.

Contact Lynn for pricing at: 920-380-4149 x124

The art of salvage

Do architectural salvage companies blog? If so, what do they post?

We have no clue. Yet, here we are.