Architectural antiques are ‘labor of love’ for Lincoln store owner
When Sid Conner started his career after graduating in 1974 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an architecture degree, he realized he wasn’t much interested in modern architecture.
“I liked the idea of working with oak, walnut, mahogany, marble, terra-cotta — all of the things that really are no longer common building materials,” he said. “They are really relegated to the really elite or expensive construction. Or not at all.”
So Conner got involved with Crawford Lumber Company, which tore down old buildings and houses and salvaged the materials. Slowly, he and his wife, Cheryl, began to collect stained glass, decorative hinges and hardware to put in their own 1899 Victorian style home just outside of Crete, Nebraska.
Conner eventually bought the lumber company, with the goal of turning the company into a architectural antiques business. Today, Conner’s Architectural Antiques at 1001 L Street maintains a steady income because of its consistent customer base.
Conner’s large inventory has been salvaged from hundreds of historic places, including the Cornhusker Hotel and UNL’s Bancroft Hall.
But not just anyone can run an antique business, Conner said.
“It needs to be a labor of love to do this kind of thing,” he said. “You have to do it because you really love it.”