Friday, July 25, 2014

Materials Unlimited Turns 40

By Gretchen Sawatzki

What started as a demolition business in the early 1970s quickly evolved into a 40-year adventure when Reynold Lowe gave up his demolition gear, hard hat, and gloves to rescue architectural elements rather than trashing them.  Initially his rescued treasures consisted of bricks, tiles, windows, doors, and more, all removed from wrecking ball-bound structures.  With his ever-growing unlimited variety of materials, he gave a name to his hobby - Materials Unlimited, and in 1974, it became open to the public consisting of three pole barns on the industrial outskirts of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Reynold's dream of a one-stop shop for all architectural materials was nearly cut short before it even got off of ground when a devastating fire consumed his barns in 1979, leaving only a cast iron pot belly stove in its wake. Like a true phoenix, Materials Unlimited rose from the ashes and was reopened in 1981 inside a historic Art Deco structure at 2 W. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where it still operates today.

Reynold standing next to his demolition dump truck.
This year Materials Unlimited is celebrating its 40th anniversary serving metro Detroit with a 15,000 square foot showroom loaded with architectural antiques, lightingunique objects, antique furnishings, and hardware for all types of applications. Voted Best of Detroit for three consecutive years, Materials Unlimited's legacy continues with exceptional customer service and providing the, "hard to find items" historic homeowners hunt.

Join the staff of Materials Unlimited on Saturday, August 2nd from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm for an anniversary party! Check out our Facebook invite for more information.

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