If you are looking for a way to add character or a piece of history to your home decor, I know just the place to find it. One of my favorite places to find these treasures is at Refindings. Refindings is located at 465 Prospect Street in York. One of the owners (and the manager) is Lou Girolami and he was kind enough to let me write a story about his business. If you have ever shopped at Refindings, you most likely know Lou and will surely remember him. Whenever I want to find Lou in his store, I just listen for the laughter. Lou can almost always be found there joking with his customers. He’s just as much fun as all of the unique items you find in his store. Lou and I go way back to my high school and college days of working at Boscov’s. I worked in the gift wrap department and Lou was in the furniture department. His desk wasn’t far from me. We spent countless hours chatting and laughing over the years. I’m thankful that I don’t have to wrap gifts at Boscov’s to see Lou now.
Refindings is in the old Wolf Supply Co. Building and it’s huge. This building actually home to a few other businesses. You will find Old York Homes here. They specialize in high end remodeling of historic homes. They work locally, but also do projects out of our area in places like NYC. They are known for their millwork and if you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it. Circa Antiques, which is owned by Dave Ziegler is also located in the building as well. I consider his items works of art. They are all antiques, but most have been restored and look brand new. I had a chance to talk to Dave and he is a wealth of information about the pieces in his store. I was particularly drawn to this particular chair.
Dave said this “Bird Chair” was created by a well-known designer named Henry Bertoia who is now in his 90s and is still alive today. Unfortunately, as much as I love this piece, I could never buy it with two young kids in my house. They would wreck it and no one wants to see works of art destroyed.
Refindings takes up majority of the space in (and outside) the building. Lou said that they have over 80 renters who have stands here and 400 people that utilize consignment that just have one or two pieces to sell at a time. I was able to speak with of them when I stopped by. I met with Ed Sowers who is a renter and employee. Ed has a space here as well as a few other places in York and Lancaster County. At Refindings, Ed specializes in antiques that are historically significant to York County. He gets most of his items from auctions or private sales. He started doing this 38 years ago and it just snowballed. He has repeated customers that come as far away as Nashville Tennessee to fill up their trucks with goodies.
These are just some items that Ed has displayed in his booth. The funky mugs were actually made by Pfaltzgraff which look a little different compared to the first dish set I bought from them right out of college. That’s because these mugs were probably made in the 1940s and my dishes were made 50 years later. I think almost everyone from York County has owned a piece of Pfaltzgraff at some point in their lives. Next, I was introduced to Bob Lentz. Bob is also a renter and employee. He retired from the pharmaceutical industry a few years ago, and decided to do something artistic with his time when he was inspired by projects he saw online. Bob designs pieces that are industrial looking. Many businesses in the York area hire him to create lights and other decor for them. He uses old barn wood as well as live edge wood in a lot of his pieces, all of which are really popular right now.
These are just a few of Bob’s creations. Beautiful!
The amount of items at Refindings is astonishing. Not only do they have antiques, but they are also an architectural warehouse. You can find old doors, door knobs, molding, mantels, windows, etc. You name it, they probably have it. I asked Lou how he got into this industry. He said that he dabbled in this when he worked at Boscovs years ago and eventually was successful enough to do it full-time. Seven years ago, he came to Refindings. How does Lou end up with all of these old architectural items? Lou gets the salvage rights to old buildings through Historic York. I’ve purchased quite a few things from him over the years for my various home projects. Lou can usually tell you exactly where it’s from and sometimes has a great story to go with it. I don’t know how he remembers all of this because most of the time I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast the day before! Lou’s items are inside the building, outside, and in outbuildings. Whenever I am looking for something specific, I find Lou and he can tell me if he has it or not. If it’s not inside there’s a good chance it’s in one of his outbuildings and he will take you there to look. When we were inside, he pointed out a table that used to be at the old Pennsylvania State Asylum. Surely, this had to be one of the oddest items he’s ever sold, but Lou said it wasn’t. He took me out to show me an old soda fountain that was from Green’s Ice Cream. It’s huge and he said it’s probably the most unique item he’s ever sold.
Pictured above is Lou striking a pose with the soda fountain. Also pictured is the table from the old state asylum.
You just never know what you’ll find in his outbuildings! Old pianos, mantels, molding, or even a headless elephant!
Refindings such an enjoyable place to visit and Lou makes it even better. I asked him what he liked best about what he does and his response was, “everything!” If you stop by, you’ll probably find a treasure or two!
Refindings is located at 465 Prospect Street in York. They are open Monday- Friday 9AM-5PM, Saturday 10AM-5PM and Sunday 11AM-4PM.