Need blocks? Get 'em at Salvage One.
They say everything old is new again. They also say one man's trash is another man's treasure. Whatever they say, antiques will always be cool. Here's where to find the best items from the past (at pre-inflation prices).
Broadway Antique Market
When they opened in 1990, Jeff Nelson & Danny Alias had no idea how big the Broadway Antique Market (BAM) would become. Actually, they had no idea that such a place even existed (at the time it was known as the Wrigleyville Antique Mall). But after taking on more vendors and gaining popularity by the minute, the antiquing team moved on to a two-floor, 20,000 square-foot space in Edgewater. BAM now hosts over 75 dealers specializing in 20th-century art, objects and furniture. The neighborhood spot continues to thrive and has been featured in national publications like Metropolitan Home and House & Garden Magazine, in addition to appearances on HGTV and USA Today. On any given day, you can expect to see a hodgepodge of shoppers here from the prop-scavenging theater junkie to the vintage sofa-scouring student.
Lincoln Antique Mall
You'll need a dark sense of humor to fully appreciate Lincoln Antique Mall's motto: "If you didn't get it in the will, you can get it here." Morbid, yes—but you've got to love the validity of that statement. And we have no doubt that you will once you scope out the 11,000-plus square-feet of vintage furniture, jewelry, clothing and books (these are a great, cheap find if you're strapped for cash). Another thing we adore about this place is the staff's hands-off approach, leaving us to completely browse at ease until our antiquing heart's content.
Or two, or three, or four...honestly, the salvaging opportunities here are endless. But before you head out the door, let's get something straight: this is not your average antique shop. In fact, it's not really an antique shop at all, but there are indeed antiques here. Walking into Salvage One is more like stepping onto the set of a period movie, but you're not exactly sure which period you're in or how you got here, you just know that you never want to leave. It isn't surprising that plenty of big names have hosted events in the rustic, whimsical space-- and for a pretty penny, you can do the same. Or you can just take a little piece of the place home with you by purchasing a distressed 1950s school desk or a historic stained-glass window. Like we said, there's plenty to look at, so be sure not to miss the details, like Salvage One's colorful wall of intricate doorknobs and drawer handles located near the entrance.
Chicago Antique Market
Locals can take advantage of the urban antique market (part of the Randolph Street Market Festival) all summer long. You'll be able to browse items from 150 dealers, and you can leave without smelling like Great Aunt Bertha, because a good portion of the market is held outdoors. Expect nothing but the best in furnishings, housewares, artifacts, vintage clothing, jewelry, sterling, porcelain, lighting, ephemera and kitschy toys. The Chicago Antique Market, like the fest as a whole, is open every last Saturday and Sunday of each month from May through September.
Night & Day Vintage
Yes, you can buy the swordfish.
It really is night and day at this eclectic shop, located at the core of Chicago's Antique Row. It goes without saying that there's something here for everyone (collector or not), from the giant plastic swordfish slung on the wall to racks upon racks of vintage clothing and shoes. You'll find styles in nearly everything, including '60s mod, deco, mid-century modern and tiki.