WHO: Sean Wilkerson, The Bank Architectural Antiques.
WHAT: Architectural antiques, sales and service. Specializing in historical building materials of New Orleans. [A] 40,000-square-foot warehousing old cypress doors, mantels, shutters, corbels, moldings and hardware for sale to renovate historic homes or supply new construction projects with old-world appeal. Paint removal and full repairs to fix up old doors, shutters and hardware.
WHERE: The Bank Architectural Antiques, 1824 Felicity St.
WHEN: Established in 1972.
HOW: I have disassembled nearly 600 blighted homes in New Orleans to acquire their building components and repurpose these items. By taking things apart, we can understand how they are put together. The construction technique of an old New Orleans shotgun home is awe inspiring. The material used, (cypress), stands the test of time. It just makes sense to preserve this stuff. My father, Mike, started this business and developed a technique for paint removal which I still use today.
WHY: I really enjoy my work. Stripping a pair of 200-year-old shutters and repairing them to near original condition gives me a very rewarding sense of purpose.
IN YOUR WORDS: I am just dusting off what the craftsmen that built this city made. It’s hard, grueling work sometimes but preserving New Orleans architectural heritage is worth the effort.