Image of Gregg Boisjolie, manger of Olde Good Things BroadwayBy Claudie Benjamin

Gregg Boisjolie, Manager of Olde Good Things at 2420 Broadway, surely knows his stuff. In conversation, he transitions fluidly from the details of one anecdote related to a notable New York City artifact to another. For example, he described the wrenching journey and happier repurposing of the immense, beautiful 300-foot-stained glass window by famed Artist and Designer Robert Sowers, which for 50 years awed travelers at the former American Airlines Terminal 8 building at JFK Airport. As an artist, Sowers was influential in popularizing the use of stained glass in contemporary buildings. Though salvaged years ago by Olde Good Things, there are still plenty of “red, white, blue, and maroon” glass components of the Sowers window for sale in OGT stores and online. Among other possible uses, they’ve been evocative coffee table conversation pieces and vibrant glass office dividers.

After telling the history of the iconic Sowers-stained glass, Gregg moved on to a wistful recollection of his bravado as a younger man salvaging old tin ceilings. “It was like being a coal miner, very sooty, hands-on work.” he explained. He noted how tin ceilings were an American invention in the late 1800s and early 1900s that diverged from the earlier European style of decorative plaster work. Over more than 20 years with Olde Good Things—often referred to as “OGT”—Gregg has spent considerable time and effort arranging to have mirrors, some purposefully distressed, framed with the patterned vintage tin panels sold at OGT stores, antique shows, and flea markets.

Gregg underscored that a big part of the company’s mission lies in repurposing – altering antiques is the term he uses. Imagine a period piece, an antique or relic modernized to function and integrate into today’s décor. A notable example is the salvage contract from the multi-year renovation of the iconic Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue. These artifacts included a vast amount of carpet that “was such good quality,” Gregg remarked. The Waldorf carpet was then expertly cut, hemmed, and sold by OGT as area rugs—with quite a story behind them.

Additionally, scores of lighting fixtures were transported to the company warehouse in Scranton, PA—where they get rewired, cleaned, and fit for modern life. From there, these historical fixtures are sold across all stores and online. OGT’s lighting collection is vast and highly popular with customers, featuring antique crystal chandeliers, Italian Murano glass, Art Deco, and Mid-century modern lighting. Another part of the Waldorf Astoria salvage was a large amount of glassware, flatware, and dishes from the hotel “which otherwise would have likely all gone into a dumpster.” He continued, “In turn, we have many tourists from all over the world come into the Upper West Side store, and they revel over the Waldorf items. Because they’re able to take a piece of NYC home with them,” complete with a certificate of authenticity.

Photo of glassware from the Waldorf Astoria HotelInterest in particular items “ebbs and flow over time,” said Gregg. Tin was particularly popular about 10-15 years ago when OGT reengineered its substantial inventory of decorative tin sheeting to make nostalgic mirror frames. “Everyone likes a nice mirror,” he said. “It lightens up a room.” Today, OGT has an overabundance of old doors, mantels, and lighting. But there’s also great customer interest in finding a lovely, old dresser. Some items are hugely appealing, like the paneling for an entire library with a secret door from an Upper East Side mansion, but of course, the realities of cost and space are challenging in terms of installing them in new quarters.

One of Gregg’s favorite repurposing concepts was also surprisingly successful: old copper-clad wooden window frames acquired by OGT during renovations of the Hotel McAlpin on West 34th Street and the Flat Iron building. This has involved salvaging them from these famous buildings during building renovations, cleaning them, and then designing them to frame mirrors. “It’s a piece of New York history,” said Gregg, explaining that almost all items salvaged by OGT come from NYC. It stands to reason this remains a top-seller

Beyond the two NYC locations—OGT has a store in LA store and 5-acres of shoppable warehouse space in Scranton, PA—a popular day trip from NYC. But the eCommerce part of the business has become the lead these days, featuring over 13,000 “olde good things” to anyone on the planet with a Wi-Fi connection. While OGT has evolved into the modern marketplace, Gregg said it still operates like a family business.

So, your destination is set: Proceed with abandon down memory lane—or reimagine these bespoke items in your new décor. But by all means—stop in and say hi to Gregg & team at Broadway & 89th. They’re ready to help you find your next olde good thing.


Upper West Side

2420 Broadway

New York, NY 10024



Flagship – Midtown

333 West 52nd Street

New York, NY 10019



National Warehouse

400 Gilligan Street

Scranton, PA 18508



Los Angeles

1800 S. Grand Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90015



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