Great Lakes Yard

Chicago, IL

GREAT LAKES YARD is a reclaimed lumber and salvage organization. All of our lumber has been sustainably harvested across the Great Lakes Region through deconstruction and demolition as an innovative model towards sustainable reuse.

The Great Lakes region is a massive, invisible warehouse full of gorgeous materials. We mowed down our white pine and hemlock forests and built entire railroads to move our maple, birch, ash, basswood, and elm. This is what was used to build the industrial infrastructure of our region and what holds up the houses we live in. These forests were used to create the first permanent structures ever built on this land, and their bones are old and powerful and solid and beautiful.

The materials used to construct our towns tell both a human and environmental history––it’s written in the steam powered cuts in our lumber, the straight grain of trees that once competed for sunlight, the lumber stamps that can be traced back to the forests of Michigan and Wisconsin, the centuries-old sap that’s still thick in the center of a beam that was milled before automobiles existed.

Founder Meegan Czop believes that everything we need already may just need to wait a day or two to get it. She drives an old truck that was manufactured in the town she grew up in, dreams of resurrecting dying trades, and strives to work in an environment where every single item, from the furniture to the tools to the paper clips, are from estate sales or bought used.