The record-breaking storms that swept through Alabama on April 27th hit Cullman’s downtown hard. Buildings that had stood for over 100 years were destroyed by an EF4 tornado. Winds were gusting at more than 175-miles-per hour, and the tornado reportedly stretched 38 miles long, according to the National Weather Service.
Damage to SAAA Facade
Southern Accents Architectural Antiques was spared for the most part. Glass windows were blown out, but the building is still intact. Owner, Garlan Grudger who has been working to help his neighbors clean up the damage said, “I am blessed.” He said that his home and business had some minor damage, but nothing like the worst of the destruction to Cullman’s downtown area.
I asked him what I could do to help, and he simply asked me to shop there and at any other Cullman merchants as soon as they are able to conduct commerce again. That I can certainly do.
Remember what that was like? Remember the awe and wonder you felt seeing so many wonderful things all in one place? The anticipation and decision making involved in choosing from so many options?
This is the essence of a visit to Southern Accents Architectural Antiques in Cullman, AL, for me and I would bet for anybody who fixes or builds furniture or does restoration. SA is a museum of architectural history and oddities that you can touch—and take home with you.
I am always amazed at what I see when I get to visit. I know I am going to see salvaged doors, mantles, shutters, leaded glass, claw-foot tubs, hinges, door knobs, and newel posts. All really wonderful handcrafted items with history and character. But there is always at least one thing that is totally random.
On a recent trip with a friend, I was not disappointed. She was there to find a claw-foot tub for a new home build. I was there because I never miss a chance to visit. I don’t know the number of items they have there, but it has to be hundreds of thousands, if you count all the hinges, antique keys, and drawer pulls. We browsed through rooms and rooms of salvaged materials and most of it I had seen the like of there or somewhere else.
But as I said, there is always at least one thing that is weirdly out of place—if you are in the market for a 5 foot tall concrete Chinese lion, they have one for sale.