Classic Cullman 2017 - Page 105

Classic Cullman / SOUTHERN ROOTS interest that other people prized. Gudger’s love of antique building materials KDVʐRXULVKHG\LHOGLQJRQHRIWKHODUJHVW stores of its kind in the United States. Located in downtown Cullman, Southern Accents Architectural Antiques is a museum of the South’s built environment. Unlike other museums, though, you can buy what you see. Year after year, Gudger kept at his passion, rescuing and restoring architectural salvage. He realized the demand for his recycled material wouldn’t immediately outpace the supply he was obtaining, so he started organizing the salvage in his two-car garage. It didn’t take long for word to spread of his “garage collection,” and the quality of what he’d salvaged. Slowly, people began congregating early every Saturday morning to see his treasures. In time, he realized the industry was gaining momentum, so he opened a small shop in north Cullman. Since then, the store has grown exponentially, and has earned its founding family an armoire full of notoriety for operating the premiere architectural salvage store in Alabama. Southern Accents (often abbreviated these days to SA) has been a staple of downtown Cullman for decades. If you don’t have something from them in your home, they probably have something from your home in their shop. Today, SA stocks everything from wood to doors to complete mantles rescued from cenBy Trent Moore Cullman’s Southern Accents has become iconic. It didn’t start out that way. What’s now a destination architectural antiques showcase started humbly. The business sprang from a family passion for old things, for the relics of regional place and spaces. tury-old homes. Dr. Gudger’s son, Garlan, Jr., now runs the shop with his wife Heather, and the business continues to gain notoriety and A-list clients. The SA crew now salvages ar- chitectural materials from all over the nation. Gudger, Jr. said Southern Accents has been extremely busy in 2016, while also tackling an LQFUHDVLQJVFKHGXOHRIKLJKSURʏOHSURMHFWV The company has worked with clients from the American Pickers TV series to blues rock RXWʏW7KH%ODFN.H\VDQGDOVRFRQWLQXHVWR collaborate with Billy Reed, the southern-bred men’s fashion icon, who employs SA’s materials and design eye at New York Fashion Week. The store was also featured in a recent issue of the southern lifestyle magazine Garden and Gun. When you visit Cullman, don’t miss Southern Accents. Along with the Ave Maria Grotto and WKH$OO6WHDN5HVWDXUDQWLWȊVRQHRIWKHʏUVW local landmarks out-of-towners look for when DVNLQJGLUHFWLRQV%XWRQFH\RXʏQGLWȆ which is easy as can be — you’ll never again need to ask for directions to this remarkable southern icon. In 1969, when Dr. Garlan Gudger started rescuing architectural objects from buildings slated to be demolished in Cullman and surrounding environs. He wasn’t thinking big at the time. But the simple joy of reviving local culture; of passing beautiful-yet-abandoned objects through his hands, turned out to be an - 105 classic 2016.indd 105 8/31/2016 10:39:00 AM