Burkhalter Wrecking Inc. tears down old buildings to make way for new ones. But the company also prides itself on preserving pieces of the past, according to its website, burkhalters.com.
In business for 70 years, the family-owned company strives to save architecturally interesting and significant items from the landfill. Instead of trashing old windows, doors, brick, timber, iron work, statues, and many other items – including bathtubs- they bring them to their salvage yard off Kings Road on the Northside of Jacksonville. There, the materials are scattered throughout several acres, and offered for sale. Customers include people who are renovating old houses, contractors who are building themed restaurants, and people who are seeking to save money on remodeling projects.
And there is lots of stuff to look through – including about 2,000 old sash windows, and 4,000 old doors. They also have doorknobs, paintings, fireplace mantels, and lots of old toilets.
Some of the items came from historically significant places around the First Coast. They have windows from the old George Washington Hotel, a stained glass ceiling from the Mayflower Hotel, and a bell from a church on West Monroe Street. They even have 1940s era miniature baseball bat souvenirs from Durkee Stadium on Eighth and Myrtle Street.
Family owned and operated, PL Burkhalter started the company in 1935. He passed it down to his son, Gene Burkhalter, Sr., and now his sons Gene Jr. and P.J. run the company. Gene is vice president, and oversees demolition contracts. P.J. bids on projects and oversees the salvage yard.