When Tim Harmon was forced out of retirement, he decided to go with what he knows best.
Tim and Julie’s Another Fine Mess is Harmon’s third salvage shop in Indianapolis, Indiana. Working with architecture and salvaging has been his lifetime trade. Out of high school, Harmon worked as a carpenter where he helped in the preservation process of many old homes and buildings.
He noticed a need for parts. The different building preservation companies would trade with each other to get parts they needed to finish different projects. Harmon says that his company would build up a surplus of architectural parts. This caused everyone else go to him to buy and trade because his company had everything.
When Harmon struck out on his own with his salvage shops, he became popular and had a massive surplus. He filled homes and garages before opening his first shop in 1991.
Harmon’s method of business is very simple. He buys the rights to old buildings that will be torn down, contacts the demolition service, and takes out everything that can be sold. And by everything Harmon means everything. From doors to chairs, furniture to appliances, windows to floor and wall décor; he takes everything to his shop to be sold.
Interior decorators flock to his shop to buy old and unique items to place in modern homes and restaurants. These vintage, one-of-a-kind items are great ways to add character to a potentially blank, modern space.
Harmon hopes for success with this latest salvage shop and wants to do his part in saving and preserving history. By collecting various old pieces of furniture or décor, he is not filling a warehouse with useless junk. He is preserving and saving architectural elements and the history that goes along with them. What could have been demolished with the swing of a wrecking ball can have a second (or third) life in a new Italian restaurant down the street or serve as a centerpiece in the lobby of a new hotel.
Our past is important to our future, every teacher and family elder will tell you that. It is more important that physical artifacts from our past stay with us rather than just stories or memoirs. Tim Harmon is more than doing his part in preserving our past and giving it a place in our future.
If you’re ever in the area, go see Tim and Julie and see what treasures you can find in their fine mess.
Photos by Tony Frantz