Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Discovery Architectural Antiques & Tiny Texas Houses

Last weekend, on my way to Boerne, Texas, I took a detour off Interstate 10 towards the town of Gonzales.  Located two hours west of Houston and one hour east of San Antonio or Austin, Discovery Architectural Antiques is worth the diversion.  The business has grown to over 140,000 square feet of inventory in 13 buildings around the town.

The starting point is this storefront in downtown Gonzales, which showcases only a fraction of their inventory in four adjoining buildings.

The real excitement for me came when I visited their largest warehouse just six blocks away.

Here, over 5000 doors, 3000 windows, and thousands and thousands of tubs, sinks, brick, clay roofing tile, wood flooring, barn wood, siding, trim, beams, dimensional lumber, beaded wood, ship lap and other construction material quietly await new homes on the 2 1/2 acre site.

I am assuming that these headstones came from a bankrupt monument company or had typos, rather than an actual cemetery.  I plan to use these on a project by turning them face down and stacking them for steps up to a porch... Shh, don't tell my client!

As far as the eye can see in any direction is salvage material.

Floor material.

Trim material.

Industrial carts... and a kitten following me around.

Sign material.

Wood beams.

Entire gables.

A nice vent hood or canopy.


The workshop.

These windows are great for headboards.

Nicely colored shutters.  Maybe I'll do a ceiling or wall like this restaurant.

I don't know what this is, but I think it is upside down.

After walking the entire 140,000 square feet of inventory, I fell in love with this piece.  It is a trolley for a hay lifter and belongs in my home.  Unfortunately, I was told that it is not for sale... probably the only thing NOT for sale there.  If Discovery Architectural Antiques is reading this and would like to reconsider, please CONTACT me!

Well, the two-year drought in central Texas ended the day of my visit and the storms prevented me from visiting Discovery's other venture down the road in Luling called Tiny Texas Houses.  These photos came from their website and Sarah Wilson.

What material isn't purchased may end up in one of these houses in someone's backyard.

I lived in a cabin in my parent's backyard in high school and college, so I can relate to the allure of small spaces as an architecture of relevance versus an architecture of excess.

The Rustic Ranch House.

The Victorian Farm House.

Rustic Farm House on Bear Creek.

Carpenter Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Austin.

Living room.

Bathroom with sleeping loft above.

Rustic Ranch Styled Cabin and the Victorian.

Once in Boerne, I met up with family to support my dad's recently completed 1923 Ford T-Bucket in the Key to the Hills Rod Run.  Best in Show, IMO!

. . .


  1. Good grief. Heaven in Texas. I can almost smell those warehouses.

  2. What a fun place that looked like to explore! I love the little houses. I tried to talk my husband into building a little house similar to those a year or so ago. He didn't seemed all that enthusiastic living in such a small place, but how cute they are!

  3. we keep trying to convince the guys to build some tiny roanoke houses :) bummed you didn't get to see them in person! but the other sites looked like great fun - i'm in awe of how they manage 13 buildings!

    i'll look around here for a trolley for you... i'm sure we can find something!

    thanks for posting the pictures - have always wanted to go there!

  4. That's my kind of weekend! Old architecture and cars. I love the part about your using tombstones for steps. Shh! I won't tell.

  5. Now this is just about the coolest thing ever. I want one of those tiny houses! How adorable! I love that they are made from salvaged materials, too.

    Happy Met Monday...


    Sheila :-)

  6. Thanks for taking us on your salvage run. I get really excited about places like this too. I gasped when I saw the porch roof on your first photo. I really could use that here it would look great over my front door.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  7. this chicago girl suddenly needs to go to texas, with a huge trailer. how did you find the pricing at the warehouse(s)?

  8. wow I need to get to Texas and I also need to bring a trailer, I love that place with the wonderful things, toooo cooool, I am a new follower of this blog,,,,come for a visit...

  9. Love those little houses !

  10. If my husband would discover these places with all the architectural items, I would not see him in days!!!

  11. Hi Spencer,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I was so happy to find yours - what you posted on Rough Luxe was just what I needed to restore my faith in the world of design.


  12. Thanks so much for sharing your time at this amazing place. I have family near Gonzales and have always wanted to make time to explore here, but just have not done it. I feel like I have been there now! What treasure! If I ever get to build another house I know exactly where to go for materials. Thanks for such an extensive tour.

  13. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!


  14. This place looks fantastic. Also, the perfect setting for an episode of Man Shops World.

    I await on the edge of my Eames Lounge Wood for the next installment of The Architectural Antique Review.

  15. So cute! I'd love to have one in my backyard!

  16. Good stuff here! I like hearing your perspective on things.

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  18. Good info! Keep up these nice posts.

  19. Lovely posted. Sweet home. I am very happy to see this blog.

  20. wow I need to get to Texas and I also need to bring a trailer, I love that place with the wonderful things, toooo cooool, I am a new follower of this blog,,,,come for a visit...
    Thank you for post..Underfloor heating

  21. Wow, the pictures or should I say houses?are mind blowing. Its like a different era. So rare to find. Have a great year ahead!:)

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