I recently visited the Canal Street Antique Market in Lawrence. A quick jog off of Route 495, the market is part of an area of mill buildings which have been restored and revitalized into a busy commercial space. Offices, cafes, and an art center are all in the complex.
Parking is easy and free right in the marketplace. Not knowing what I would find, I went in with no expectations. My friend and I were delighted to follow the labyrinth of stalls and quickly identify items that were in our own parents’ basements growing up, and even items that I remember from my grandparent’s house such as now vintage serving dishes, small furniture and knick-knacks.
Lest you think an antique mall is a flea market, Canal Street is full of carefully picked items of good quality and condition. There are also items which, with the right “eye” or care, could be restored to their original glory or a newly imagined brilliance.
There are two gigantic floors in the main building, and then another whole floor in a building across the parking lot. Special events and sales are ongoing, and each vendor manages their own pricing and discount schedule. On the day we visited, I was lucky to find not one, but two vintage record player stands which I have repurposed into file storage next to my desk. They were very reasonably priced and sturdier than anything I could find at Target or IKEA, plus they are fun.
Whether you are seeking jewelry, clothing, records or furniture, the antique mall is an entertaining destination. Project Home Again also has a space in the 4th Floor Design Center so you can purchase items there to help a great charity which helps families as they transition into more permanent housing.
Many stalls are set up in vignettes, staged tables and chairs as in a dining scene or living room scene so that items can be imagined in a realistic setting. There is also a significant craft component to many items that are presented.
Goods have been reclaimed and repurposed imaginatively, taking a page from the rustic, shabby chic, and cottage design movement. For example, Mason jars are covered in chalk paint and a grosgrain ribbon, doorknobs are used as coat hooks, and industrial items are used as imaginative wall or tabletop decorations.
It is the ultimate “upcycling” wonderland. Purchases are cash and carry for the most part (they do take credit cards) and the items I purchased were final sale. There are craftspeople working in the second building and there is the opportunity for some custom items as well.
Perhaps you are looking for salvaged beams for your mantel, or weathered shutters to enhance your indoor space. There really is something for everyone at the Canal Street Antique Market and I urge you to get over and check it out soon.
Canalstreetantique.com 181 Canal St., Lawrence.