Rebuilding Together selling pieces pulled from home

Lisa Depies
Joni Conrad, executive director of Rebuilding Together, displays a stained-glass window pulled from a to-be-demolished home. The group is selling historical pieces from the home as a fund-raiser.

Rebuilding Together volunteers usually dedicate their time to adding improvements to homes, not tearing out features.

However, volunteers recently spent three days stripping salvageable pieces from a College Avenue home slated for demolition.

Owned by Hammond-Henry?Hospital and located south of the hospital, the turn-of-the-century home needed to be demolished to make space for the planned hospital expansion.

“(Hospital CEO)?Brad Solberg contacted me because he knew the house had nice features that could be saved,” said Rebuilding?Together executive director Joni Conrad.

Volunteers removed period pieces from the house, and Conrad said the items will be sold in the near future.

“We’re using this as a fund-raiser for Rebuilding Together,” she said.

Though Rebuilding?Together’s mission is to make improvements to homes, the types of items pulled from the home don’t fit with what Rebuilding?Together does, said Conrad. “Generally our projects are more utilitarian,” she said.

Items such as porcelain and cut-glass door knobs, solid wood doors, brass lighting fixtures, kitchen tiles, stained-glass windows, a cast-iron sink and the staircase banister were pulled from the home.

One of the features salvaged from the house was a cast-iron fireplace.

“We found a trove of old cards, calendars, a letter and a 1917 telephone bill for $2.15 behind the fireplace,” said Conrad. The fireplace will be donated to the Geneseo Historical Museum.

“The fireplace will go to the (museum’s) upstairs bedroom that use to belong to Emma Wilson, a girl who grew up in the house,” said museum curator Angie Snook. “The (museum) originally had 12 marble fireplaces, but seven were removed in the 1940s.”

Snook said museum officials were searching for a fireplace for the room. “We were going to have someone try and build a wooden mantle, but now we have one that’s more closely related to what would have been there. We’re very excited about it.”

Though a few other pieces from the hospital’s home have been earmarked for different locations, most of the items salvaged will be available to the public for purchase.

“I’m in the process of having the items appraised,” said Conrad. “We hope this will be a benefit for both sides. We’ll receive some funding for Rebuilding Together, and the people who purchase the items will get pieces they want and will love.”

For more information on items available, contact Conrad at (309) 944-6442 or e-mail

Rebuilding Together salvaged historical pieces from a home on College Avenue owned by Hammond-Henry Hospital.?Hospital officials plan to demolish the home to make way for hospital expansion plans.