Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage’s new, highly anticipated 8,000-square-foot retail display and sales floor is taking shape, and owner Mike Byrnes is hopeful the new space will be open by this summer.
With the new expansion may even come a new name — the Aurora Mills Complex — according to a blog post by the company this week.
As Byrnes told The Canby Current last summer, the new space will specialize in the display of large items that don’t easily fit on the existing sales floor: back bars, theater lighting, airplane wings, floorboards and such.
Aurora Mills is known for uncovering rare treasures and historical artifacts, and some of these items can be oversized — like a 20-foot-tall poster advertising a carnival giant.
“I like to joke that we could fit a double-decker English bus in there,” Byrnes quipped.
In the Feb. 3 blog post, Aurora Mills described the new annex as a “shoppable showroom filled with all the cool old stuff we always have and decorated with some of the coolest stuff we’ve collected over our years of traveling.”
The company plans to continue to use the iconic existing mill in much the same fashion as it has since it opened as a commercial space in 1999.
“The original mill building is a historic landmark, and we will continue to operate our retail shop in that building as well as the new building,” the blog post said.
The new space is modeled after the design aesthetic of historic 19th-century train sheds (appropriate considering the neighboring railroad tracks) and is meant to complement the existing mill.
The new structure replaces a World War II Army surplus Quonset hut that had occupied the space since 1948. A buyer in the Seattle, Wash., area intended to rebuild the hut there to display vintage vehicles from the WWII era and other memorabilia.
At the time the project was greenlighted, it was just the second new commercial structure to be planned in the city of Aurora in the past 50 years — the first being Filberts Farmhouse Kitchen.