Eco Relics: What’s New?

At Eco Relics the answer is both “Not Much” and “A Whole Lot”!

Eco Relics blends the old and the new, in every way. The business is only one year old but operates inside a 1920s railroad depot overflowing with items dating over 150 years. The business may be new to town, but it knows history.

Another way that Eco Relics overcomes its new kid on the block status is by enthusiastic partnerships with community organizations. Eco Relics worked with Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP), sourcing appropriate lighting fixtures for their recent Buckland House restoration. In the home’s 100-year history, it has served many uses. From 1918 until the 1940s, members of the Buckland family operated The French Primary School out of their home; it was a normal primary school that also taught its pupils French at a young age.

Since 1991 it has been the official headquarters of RAP, which undertook extensive renovations to the building last year. RAP Executive Director Carmen Godwin says of Eco Relics, “They’ve been wonderful to work with. In fact, the majority of the lighting at the restored historic Buckland House was obtained from EcoRelics, including some amazing brass chandeliers that were utilized in the foyer and dining room.”

“What I love about Eco Relics is that you can find something different every time you go in,” Godwin continues. “For instance, we were looking for a kitchen sink and the second time I went looking I found an amazing Kohler farmhouse sink for more than half the retail price. I also love that they save historic materials. When someone is changing the interior of their home, Eco Relics will come salvage materials, so they don’t go to the dump and historic materials can be reused somewhere else in the district. For instance, we had some leftover foundation blocks and they came over and picked them up for us.” That hews to the company mission of keeping usable construction supplies out of landfills and saving as many architectural remnants as possible, while preserving the great history of Jacksonville. You can schedule a professional deconstruction with just a phone call.

Eco Relics will have a presence in RAP’s annual Spring Tour of Homes April 25 & 26. You can also look for them at The Home and Patio Show March 5-8 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Whenever they are out and about, you’ll see their signature truck “Big Red,” a 1937 Ford volunteer fire truck with fewer than 7,000 miles.

Eco Relics is participating in One Spark April 7-12, with Hemming Park as their venue. Many improvements are in the works in Hemming Park, under the leadership of its new Executive Director Vince Cavin. Cavin has expressed a desire to develop many different facets of the park using “interesting installations that are fun, functional, artistic” and its Communications Director Keith Marks has said, “We’re going to be doing a number of physical improvements to the park.” Look for Eco Relics to be involved. Rebuilding Jacksonville’s oldest park with salvaged materials, in partnership with other organizations in the community, encapsulates the Eco Relics ethos.

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About Rob Middleton

Rob Middleton is an artist and writer working in Jacksonville, Florida -- however if he clicked his heels together three times he'd be happiest to wake up in Barcelona! Rob became addicted to abstract painting while simultaneously studying psychology at Princeton University. His studio is found at 229 N. Hogan Street where he spends every Art Walk. Rob has been contributing to EU since 2011. Vote for Rob's art at WJCT's The Square.