Bob Swisher: Two Indy sites packed with items
I made a recent visit to what is now called Architectural Antiques, 5000 W. 96th St., Indianapolis.
It is owned by Norman and Amy Kanis and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. The Kanises can be reached by two phone numbers: 317-873-2727 or 800-916-6777.
The shop used to be known as Colonial Antiques, which was the name I used in many previous references.
While I had heard about Norm Kanis' operation for years, this was the first time I had been to their salvage place. It consists of one really large building and two barns, plus some small outbuildings and a yard full of old items. The house on the street in front of the site is not part of the sales area.
How do I best describe this place? I would say, electrical. That is what is the most abundant. If you need something old that is in the electric realm of things, this is the place: There are wall-mounted lamps, shades and parts, not to mention the chandeliers and globes. Architectural Antiques also features lots of fireplace mantles, doorknobs and hinges.
Kanis' son is part of the operation, and it is an active place. You could spend the day there and not see everything the facility has to offer. It is probably a problem with all salvage yards in that they have so much stuff, they just cannot seem to get organized.
Not everything is clearly priced, and you may have to go find someone and ask, but most items in the main showroom are priced.
Not far away is Doc's Architectural Salvage & Reclamation Services (formerly known as White River), 1325 W. 30th St. (They can be reached at 317-924-4000 or 800-262-3389.)
This, too, is a father/son operation: The owner is Doc G. Keys; the son is Junior — or as he is called, Little Doc. They have just opened a second location in Springfield, Tenn., just outside Nashville, at 200 9th Ave. E. (The number there is 615-380-8128.)
Keys' Indianapolis location is far larger than Kanis' operation: not near as many lighting or electrical items, but far more stuff. Both have lots of doors, but Doc's probably has more inventory in almost everything except lights and hardware. The sons at both locations were pleasant to deal with and knew their business.
Doc's had one great big building/warehouse that is kind of a maze. You needed a road map as you found yourself having already been to a particular room. The place seemed full to us, but Little Doc said his dad had taken a large part of the inventory to Tennessee.
Again, you could see there had been an attempt to organize, but again, it fell short. You could spend the day in both locations and not do them justice. There is just so much stuff: up, down and all around.
We bought a few items at Kanis' shop but left Doc's empty-handed. The car was full by that time, and we headed for home.
I hope to see you at the Gordyville Antique Show, set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8.
Bob Swisher has been a collector since he was a child. Questions or comments can be sent to Swisher by writing to The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-677 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.