Monday, August 23, 2010

Live from the Great City Hall East Rummage Sale

Posted By on Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

  • Joeff Davis
UPDATE: Photos of some items after the jump.
UPDATE: Reader-submitted video of the insane line.

CL's resident antique appraiser Scott Henry is at City Hall East today where everything must go, people!

Henry reports via telephone that the former Sears distribution center has morphed into a madhouse as "tons and tons of people" pick over desks, chairs, and nearly 5,000 other items that have piled up over the decades.

"There’s some funky, funky stuff," Henry says via telephone. "There are these old racks for plat books. And they have rollers, because the books are so heavy you have to roll them out. There’s some thing up on top that says 1948-1952. And it’s just the coolest stuff. [...] There’s a woman carrying around a saddle. Those went immediately. I haven’t seen a single person buy a 911 console. But there are people who’ve bought crazy things I didn’t even know was here."

Henry, who's recognized some of Atlanta's veteran antique aficionados scurrying about at today's sale, says the diverse crowd includes a strong showing by young hipsters. Environmental reporter Maggie Lee says some people towed horse trailers to haul off their purchases.

Things are also a little surreal. Brooke Hatfield, one of CL's whipsmart designers who's also at the sale, says she spotted a "gentleman injecting insulin into his belly. He sat in the middle of sea of desks with his shirt up and injected insulin in his belly."

And not everything's going according to plan.

"The auction company that’s running the sale severely underestimated how many people it would need to work the sale," Henry says. "They set up the sales area near the front door where everyone enters. So they need at least 50 more people to check folks out."

That might cause some problems getting back to the office for our courageous news editor, who says he's listed his name on some items.

The sale continues all week long, so you've got a few more days to pick up a piece of Atlanta's history. For photos of some items up for sale, visit our photo gallery.

Also, send us a photo of whatever you purchase. We'd love to catalog what items this incredible building once housed — and which are now getting a second life.

UPDATE: Henry was kind enough to send some photos.

UPDATE: A reader sent a video of the never-ending line

  • Scott Henry

  • Scott Henry

  • Scott Henry

  • Scott Henry

The auction company did a lousy job preparing for the hordes of shoppers that hit the place yesterday. They could've used 20-30 people out on the floor pricing items, tagging items, helping move items and directing traffic. Instead, as far as I could tell, they had maybe three. And the checkout station was an embarrassment. I'm a little surprised nobody went postal. If the company couldn't handle the job, they shouldn't have taken it. Still, the rest of the week should move smoother…

Loren, who submitted this video, said: "I didn't buy anything at the City Hall East rummage sale yesterday, in part because of the insane line. So instead, I took a video."

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The lost world of City Hall East

The lost world of City Hall East

By Joeff Davis and Scott Henry

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