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DUMBO Builder Crafts Furniture from City History

By Janet Upadhye | March 4, 2013 8:35am

DUMBO — Salvaged wood scavenged from demolished townhouses, refurbished towers, shuttered factories and felled trees are finding new life in DUMBO, where fourth-generation New Yorker and builder Mark Jupiter has launched a new furniture store on Plymouth Street. 

"We find wood by wandering out in the world," said Jupiter, who opened his store last fall. "It could be in the back of a pickup, lying in the street, or at the site of a recent demolition."

Jupiter shares his storefront and design studio with Hudson Co., which reclaims antique and vintage wood, brick, stone and other building materials. Jupiter most often works with Hudson Co.'s wood pieces, shedding their outer layers to restore and reveal their original beauty.

His favorite, he said, is a table he made from vertical-grain redwood, recovered from a 100-year-old Upper West Side water tower that was demolished. The legs of the table are made from an industrial-era Singer sewing machine.

"Most of the redwood forests have been decimated," Jupiter said. "You can no longer buy redwood for commercial use — it is long since gone."

Born and raised in Manhattan, and with a great-grandfather who worked on the original copper roofs of the borough's first skyscrapers, Jupiter said he appreciates the borough's history. But it is Brooklyn, he insists, that has become the city's new frontier for creativity and charm.

"Creativity is very much alive here," he said.

The Mark Jupiter showroom is located at 191 Plymouth St. between Jay and Bridge Streets in DUMBO.