From the outside, it sure ain't much to look at, but it's what's inside that counts at the corner of Rome and Cypress in Tampa. Home of Schillers Architectural and Design Salvage.
"We basically started this almost four years ago," said Larry Schiller, "but I've been collecting a lot of years."
A life-long hunter/gatherer of cool and kitcsh-ky conversation pieces, architectural oddities and other interesting items, Larry used to just amass and then purge, when the idea of opening his collection up to others simply made sense.
"Well, yeah," he told me. "it's still a hobby, but yeah, this is fun."
Together with Charlie -- his wife of some six years -- the Schillers have already outgrown one shop, and are about to bust through this old Quonset hut warehouse just west of downtown Tampa much to the delight of folks who flock here for the sort of memorabilia that we just don't have a lot of in Florida.
"Decorative pieces, architectural pieces... that are an interior designer's dream..." enthused Carol Harrar.
"It's just a treasure trove of wonderful things to see and touch and I can't tell you how excited I am about this place I love it."
And from what I understand, the great thing about this place is that you can come here this weekend, check out all that's around you , find some cool stuff and then come back next weekend and end up with a whole new treasure trove.
"And a lot of that has to do with my wife," said Larry, deflecting the praise I offered for what is a truly cool place to visit. "She's an interior designer... and when we first opened, she goes, 'we need letters.' So now I collect letters, I wouldn't collect letters before.
But now, he does, so now we can come into his collective thinking where amassing is awesome and the thrill of the find keeps you coming back!
"I know a lot of people," he said, offering a little insight into how HE finds this stuff. "I find other people and I go hunt stuff, because that's the thrill of it. Selling stuff is OK... Buying stuff is great."
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