You never know what hidden treasures you’ll find when working with salvaged materials! Community Forklift recently completed a deconstruction project on a series of row homes on North Capitol Street in Washington, DC. By carefully removing good used construction materials from the buildings, Community Forklift can redistribute them to the community instead of sending them to the landfill.

While removing an antique fireplace mantel in one of the homes, the deconstruction team discovered a stash of items that had fallen behind it over the years. Among the materials are playing cards from the ’70s, a postcard from Alabama, vintage photos and letters, business cards for DC businesses, and a receipt from the ’30s! All-in-all, it’s a fascinating bunch of stuff and so we wanted to share it with you. Check out the photos below!

This deconstruction project was completed for So Others Might Eat (SOME), a Washington, DC, nonprofit that helps neighbors experiencing homelessness. They provide housing, healthcare, job training programs, and more, and plan to replace the four rowhomes on North Capitol Street with an affordable apartment building. Thanks to SOME for supporting reuse and the community by letting us deconstruct their properties! For more information on Community Forklift’s deconstruction services, please email


Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse.  We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.