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Friday, August 6, 2010

City Hall East garage sale — it's on!

OK, scavengers, we caught your attention back in April with a cover story titled "The lost world of City Hall East," complete with photos of antique machinery, vast storerooms and a sea of old chairs, pictured here:

Ill take that one — 43rd from the left and 115th from the back
  • Joeff Davis
  • I'll take that one — yeah, 43rd from the left and 115th from the back

Reader reaction could be summed up thusly: "How can I get my hands on some of that cool junk?"

Then, last month, we teased you with word that city officials were, indeed, planning to hold a rummage sale of sorts, but had been hindered by the rules governing disposition of city property.

Finally, however, I can announce the dates of the Great City Hall East Garage Sale — pending Council approval, naturally.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 23, and ending the following Saturday, Aug. 28, the basement doors of the 2 million-square-foot former Sears regional distribution center will be flung open and shoppers will be able to roam through a warehouse-sized area filled with old chairs, filing cabinets, office furniture, fixtures, appliances and other assorted crap. I haven't been by recently to check out the inventory, but I'm told there'll be more than 4,700 items for sale.

Sadly, the hundreds of handmade pine boxes containing years' worth of core samples won't be among them — those were tossed in a landfill earlier this summer.

I have no information on prices, but my guess is that stuff will be priced to move. And what will happen to things that don't sell? Well, on Thursday, Sept. 2, the city will hold an absolute auction for anything left over — meaning highest bid wins, regardless of amount.

A couple of more caveats: the city is still trying to figure out what to do with all of the bad-ass retro equipment in the maintenance room, so the old oak file drawers will not be part of the sale.

Also — and I realize this is a downer — customers will not be allowed to explore the 45-acre building.

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