A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Old Door Hardware Resources

As I’ve mentioned, we had four extra original doors that the PO saved and stored in the attic, which happened to be the same amount, and size, we needed for the attic remodel. Three were more narrow, so those will be used for our two closets and the bathroom door. The fourth, wider door is for our bedroom. We also have a door for our attic laundry room but I’ll talk about that one some other time.

We can’t figure out where all the doors originally came from. I know one was from a separate kitchen pantry that was torn out in the early ’90s, and another was at the bottom of the attic stairs, which originally led into the kitchen instead of the dining room. I’m guessing that one was for the kitchen leading into the hallway, but for the life of me I can’t figure out where the fourth one could have been used. Ah well, I’m just happy we have it.

They were a little beat up, so we had them refinished earlier this summer.

old door hardwareWhile we had the glass doorknobs from all of them, each one was missing one part or another, whether it was the hinges, a keyhole cover, or a doorknob rosette (the cover plate that mounts to the door). Like all the other closets in the house, we also needed thumbturns as the inner doorknob for the closets which operates the latch and prevents someone from getting locked inside (not that I plan to hang out in the closet myself, but just for safety’s sake).

One of our first stops for classic, authentic hardware parts, was of course Rejuvenation. We saw their Privacy Latch System which is perfect for bathroom doors. We bought two of those, one for our first-floor bathroom, because the sliding door lock the PO installed really doesn’t lock the door at all. Smaller thumbturns are used to turn the lock for those latches. The nice thing about Rejuvenation is that you can get unlacquered brass which will allow the parts to age like the rest of the hardware in the house.

We bought several other parts from them: rosettes, keyhole covers, hinges and door strikes in addition to the latch systems and thumbturns. We’ll be returning a number of them though. The parts are extremely well-made and beautiful, but they’re just so much nicer than the originals. While these are mostly solid brass, our original hardware was mostly brass-plated steel and these are really a little overkill for our bungalow.

So, last week we decided to take a little drive to Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, just because it’s the closest to our house (but definitely not the cheapest), to see if they had any old hardware to match. On the way, we stopped at Clark-Devon Hardware where we found (new) brass-plated rosettes and a couple other things that should work. We’ll probably return a few of those things too, because once we got to Architectural Artifacts we were successful in finding several vintage-appropriate parts.

They had several boxes full of parts and a couple shelves worth of door hardware, but as they said, it’s not really their specialty. Nevertheless, we combed through what they had and found one set of hinges, two matching chrome door plates with thumbturns that will work for both of our bathroom door locks, and one door strike. Some of the parts had some paint on them, but we were able to remove it once we got home using this method.

Hopefully we have everything we need. If not there are other resources we can try in the Chicago area, some of which I wish we could have tried first:

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Always a good place to try, but probably better for bigger things like newer doors, cabinets and light fixtures. There’s one in Gurnee as well where we’ve donated some house parts that didn’t work out for us
  • ReBuilding Exchange: Another not-for-profit. They also make and sell repurposed furniture and accessories
  • Jan’s Antiques: This looks like a great resource for door hardware and looks much more organized than Architectural Artifacts’ hardware was
  • Salvage One: One of the original architectural artifact resources. It’s been years since I’ve been here, but they had a huge inventory from what I remember
  • Urban Remains: I’ve never been here (but am itching to go!). Not sure there are many “deals” to be found though, like Architectural Artifacts and Salvage One

3 Comments

  1. Sharon on August 28, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Crown City Hardware also has excellent door hardware for very reasonable prices. I just bought new solid brass knobs and plates for all my doors and they were good quality.

    • denise on August 28, 2012 at 7:44 am

      Thanks Sharon, I don’t think I’ve ever come across them before. Their quality looks very similar to Rejuvenation’s. Very nice!

  2. Sharon on August 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I found them in American Bungalow magazine. I gave them a try because the hardware was less expensive than at Rejuvenation. So far, I’m happy with all the products I’ve purchased.

Leave a Comment