No matter how old or rusty it is, somebody somewhere wants to buy it. Inside an old brick building by the 9th St. overpass downtown, Don Short and Hal Davis are waiting for the right person to walk in and discover… and purchase their many historical objects. "This actually started as a garage sale and just kind of morphed to what we are now," explained Davis, the designer for the store known as “West End Architectural Salvage.”
“West End” is Short’s creation. He has amassed four floors and 55,000 sq. ft. of stuff that came out of other old buildings. The merchandise includes antique furniture, clocks, signs, molding, and fixtures that were rescued before homes and other buildings. Many of those structures were later torn down. Regarding the inventory, Davis said, "It's always jam packed, always changing."
The latest change at West End has to do with showing the store’s unique style to the rest of the nation. Pie Town Productions has begun producing a new reality TV show about Short and Davis. Lauren Andersen-Llewellyn and her husband, Kent Llewellyn, are in charge. They brought a crew from Los Angeles to Des Moines and are currently shooting twelve episodes for HGTV, plus the show’s pilot.
"I think it's going to be something (viewers have) never seen before. I think it's going to blend a lot of different genres, a lot of different thoughts” said Anderson-Llewellyn. There’s also a lot of personality. The show doesn’t have a host. The episodes revolve around Short and Davis’ approach to redecorating real rooms for real families in Central Iowa. Each week, they inject old objects into brand new designs.
Channel 13 News Anchor/Reporter Dan Winters and his wife, Shannon's master bedroom is the focus of a makeover in "Episode 4." Anderson-Llewllyn said, "I think America's going to get what West End Salvage is all about. It's a hip place. It's filled with a lot of cool people.” Short added, “The fruits of this are going to come once this (show) airs and it exposes us to more people and shows people what we do." The first season is tentatively scheduled to air on HGTV in 2013.