Des Moines, Iowa: A Visit to West End Architectural Salvage; Recycling the past!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Greater Des Moines

An enchanting store worthy of an afternoon visit!
by: Brian Wentz

Realtoe Des MoinesThis one of a kind store is like a window into the past! Located at 9th and Cherry in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa, West End Architectural Salvage is sort of a high end junk yard for recycled home products and custom made art work- all delivered with a touch of something special!

Many of the stores offerings have been rescued from turn of the century homes that were to be demolished, or that have been removed during construction updates.  It really doesn't matter what you are looking for; if it is old, they likely have it. But unlike so many "antique vendors" who stock a lot of junk, you'll only find truly special, one-of-a-kind and hard to find items here!

Entering at street level, the large granite coffee bar and open front lobby warmly greets you. The large sitting area, complete with custom made tables constructed on site, is a great place to kick back and enjoy a cup of the stores Joe before wandering around. And speaking of wandering around, that's precisely where you will often find the store's owner, Don Short, who will likely introduce himself, and strike up a conversation if you happen to run into him.

To add to the experience, Architectural Salvage's building, by itself, is truly something to be seen. The 5 story structure is a converted warehouse, stripped to the bones; with exposed wood timber construction, brick walls and original hardwood floors. 

Des Moines realtorThe main level of the store includes custom jewelry and original artwork fabricated using scrap materials from the upper levels, such as tin covered tables and mirrors fabricated from old lumber. On the upper levels you'll find a collection of antique white oak furniture (some has even been restored), recycled building products such as  6 panel doors and hinges, along with anything and everything you'd expect to find in a turn of the century home. On one particular visit, the store even had a full size front entry staircase, like something you'd expect to see in "Gone With The Wind"!

And if you are looking for a unique location to host an event, the store itself can be rented for an evening!. An event on site is a truly remarkable experience, as I found out first hand when we recently hosted a party at the store 65 or so people. The accommodations were top notch, to say the least!

If you are in Downtown Des Moines anytime soon- be sure to stop by the store, which is just under the 9th Street viaduct. I promise, you will not be disappointed at all!

Take a tour of the building below and see some of the items I discovered on a recent visit. (Click Here if the slide show is not visible!)

Brian Wentz & Beth Ernst
Burnett Realty
Homes for sale in the Des Moines Iowa area, including Ankeny, Altoona, Clive, Urbandale, West Des Moines, Waukee, and Johnston.


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Iowa Polk County Des Moines
des moines iowa
places of interest

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Jim Mazziotti
Exit Realty Bend


I am formerly from Oelwein, Iowa and moved to Bend, Oregon 6 years ago.  How is the market in Des Moines?

Jan 19, 2008 02:35 PM #1
Brian Wentz
Keller Williams Greater Des Moines - Des Moines, IA
Realtor - Des Moines Iowa Real Estate
Hey Jim, good to meet you! Des Moines is strong still. One of only a handful of markets that showed appreciation in the 3rd quarter of '07. But we do have some compression happening in the 275 to 500 ranges. Below and above that is moving nicely still. How's your market?
Jan 20, 2008 08:10 AM #2
Ken Tharp
Iowa Equity Exchange - West Des Moines, IA
Section 1031 Exchanges, Iowa/U.S.

Hey Brian - I love that store! I haven't been there since the move, but your pictures definitely will prompt me to get there soon. I watched the entire slide show to see if any of the stuff that I sold to Don (owner) was in it, but I didn't spot any. I had a garage in the Drake area that was full of architectural stuff (and a lot of junk, too) that I had to empty out when I sold the building last year. Don bought a lot of my stuff.

Thanks for the photos! 

Jan 20, 2008 08:47 AM #3
Mobile Austin Notary
Apostille/Authentication/Embassy Legalization, Notary Public, Loan Signing Agent & Process Server Services - Austin, TX

It looks like a great place to start a business! Butterfly

Jan 25, 2009 01:47 PM #4
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Brian Wentz

Realtor - Des Moines Iowa Real Estate
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information