CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — Back in 1969, Dr. Garlan Gudger, a Cullman native, started rescuing and restoring architectural antiques from buildings that were slated to be demolished. Locals would go to his “garage collection” every Saturday to see the new treasures he had found. His collection was the beginning of Southern Accents Architectural Antiques, now a storefront in North Cullman.
Now at the age of 75, Dr. Gudger gets to see his passion flourish through his son, Garlan Gudger Jr. who now owns the store.
Gudger Jr. remembers following his dad around as a young boy to the junkyards and salvage stores. He now travels all over the country in his father’s footsteps to save special antiques from old churches and buildings. He brings them back to the workshop and makes an old thing work in a new space.
Gudger Jr. says they strive to not separate each piece from its history.
“We try to keep the provenance of the piece with the individual item people are purchasing because that’s a big reason they purchase it to begin with,” he said.
When you stop by the store, you’ll see a map in the back with hundreds of pins. Each pin is a location now home to a Southern Accents Architectural Antiques piece.
Some pieces are made custom for buyers. The workshop can virtually create anything you want.
The Showroom Sales Manager Kolby Lawrence says nothing they find goes to waste.
“We got a system where we strip, clean it off, use dental tools, then we bring it over here, add glass, put a frame on it,” Lawrence explained. “We can trim it down, add on to it. Virtually, anything that we can salvage and reuse we do.”
The showroom is located at 308 2nd Ave SE in Cullman. Store hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, closed on Sunday, and open only by appointment on Monday.
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