By Mike Augustyniak

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In most cases, finding vintage items while cleaning out an attic isn’t exactly news. But this clean-out didn’t come from your typical attic.

It’s the first step of a $24 million renovation of Pillsbury Hall, on the University of Minnesota campus.

“Pillsbury Hall was built, I believe, in 1889. That attic has been there a long time and has been able to accumulate a lot of interesting treasures over the years,” interim zero waste coordinator Todd Tanner said.

What took 130 years to accumulate took Tanner and his team just two months to sort through. And, now, four truckloads of dusty earth science artifacts from Pillsbury’s attic can be yours.

There’s a huge range of items. Small things — like rocks, unique containers, and especially paper maps — are really popular because they’re inexpensive and unique. Larger maps could anchor a room, given a proper frame. Individual maps are selling starting at $5 each.

(credit: CBS)

Furniture pieces for sale are a DIY’er’s dream. A comprehensive card catalog would make for a great statement piece, and similar items have gone for $800 to $1000 in the past.

Over the past several years, Tanner says the ReUse Program at the university has prevented about 1 million pounds of waste per year from ending up in the incinerator.

Repurposing old items not only raises money for the University, but it conserves resources, prevents waste, gives you a chance to inherit something with a soul.

“We’ll see everything from three-ring binders and office supplies to office furniture,” Tanner said. “We’ve sold an electron microscope, and literally everything in between.”

The sale starts at 8 a.m. Thursday at the University of Minnesota’s ReUse Program warehouse in St. Paul.

(credit: CBS)

Mike Augustyniak


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