`Deconstruction' Offers Low Prices on House Items

By Likens, Terri | THE JOURNAL RECORD, July 13, 1993 | Go to article overview

`Deconstruction' Offers Low Prices on House Items


Likens, Terri, THE JOURNAL RECORD


HINSDALE, Ill. _ In an otherwise manicured neighborhood in an affluent Chicago suburb, one house was the scene of chaos: vehicles parked haphazardly, people tramping across the lawn, pulling up lilies and dragging off shrubs.

The commotion was worse inside, where the writing was literally on the walls: "Let's Keep It Out Of Da Landfills."

Jodi and Patrick Murphy were responsible for the mess. For a percentage, their Murco Recycling will auction off anything in a structure scheduled for demolition.

At the Murphys' behest, a crowd of people will come and tear out plumbing and light fixtures, pry off wood paneling, and even carry away the flagstones outside _ all at bargain-basement prices.

The Hinsdale house, which neighbors said had been up for sale for about $600,000, was being torn down to open the lot for a more expensive home.

Jenny Smith of south Hinsdale said she had been to many other Murco events.

"I came when I was nine months pregnant and pulled up an oak floor," she said.

"We built our whole house through these guys," said Smith's husband, David, adding that they got it all at 10 to 25 cents on the dollar.

John Shea of Chicago stopped in at the recent event, not to buy, but to sell a set of stained-glassed windows.

"Everybody's friends. That's what is great about it," Shea said, watching as people lent tools and offered each other advice _ or perhaps destructive criticism. …

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