In the old days, says Theresa Angelini, that would have meant it would have been "bulldozed down, put in a Dumpster, and taken to the landfill." Solway chose to do it the newly fashionable way--and then some. First she invited the Ann Arbor Fire Department to come to the structure and stage rescue drills and practice techniques for fighting fires in old "balloon frame" houses that have open stud spaces all the way from the basement to the attic. Then she invited her next-door neighbors to help themselves to anything they wanted, and Linda Keen took one of the claw-foot tubs. Materials Unlimited paid a nominal fee ("Nominal with a capital 'N,'" says Gail) for the other, along with some doors, radiator covers, and other original pieces they took.
GreenStreet Tree Care came and "dropped" several trees that would be in the way of the new construction and "staged them" so Paul Hickman, owner of Urban Ashes Picture Frame Company, could pick them up. Hickman makes frames out of recycled and repurposed wood, and, thanks to Solway, he says, he now has the wood from "one or two walnuts, one soft maple, one split box elder, and one tree of heaven." That's a lot of frames.