Philly’s Mid-Century Modern Mecca


IT’S LIKE eBAY NEVER HAPPENED at the vast Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse in Philadelphia, where larger-than-life opera props jostle with well-made 1960s American case goods by such companies as Lane and Drexel, and new, retro-style upholstered furniture and dining sets made in China and Vietnam.


Twelve thousand square feet and the place is still layered to the rafters. In a back room, countless chrome lamps and wood pieces await rewiring and refinishing.


Owner Brian Lawlor, who has been in the vintage furniture business for a long time and in the moving and storage business before that, is not fazed by the possibility of having to move further north as runaway development approaches his present location on N. 2nd St. and Cecil B. Moore in Olde Kensington. (That’s Brian, below, displaying his “Best Scavenger” trophy from Philadelphia magazine.)


He has been in this enormous garage for seven years, and has done the auction route as well, but now prefers to sell from his website, by appointment and to the public — for a mere three hours every other Sunday (the next sale is November 18 from 12-3).


Customers line up before noon on alternate Sundays to get a sheet of “Sold” stickers. When the doors open, they dash around and place them on the pieces they want to purchase.

To this jaded New Yorker, Philadelphia’s vintage-modern scene feels practically undiscovered, refreshingly un-picked-through.

Have a look at the Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse website, the FAQs and the handy “Insiders Guide” to nearby restaurants and points of interest, for those who want to make a day of it. ##


About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in ANTIQUES & COLLECTING, INTERIOR DESIGN, PHILADELPHIA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Philly’s Mid-Century Modern Mecca

  1. Mary-Liz Campbell says:


  2. Cate says:

    This looks amazing. Thanks Cara! Do you by any chance know any place in Philadelphia or nearby to get nice but not horribly expensive Victorian era furniture as well? (Looking for a combo!)

  3. cara says:

    The traditional antiques row (a handful of stores on Pine Street around 10th) is decimated, and Freeman’s Auction (since 1805!) will probably be pricey, though you never know. How about those giant indoor flea markets/multi-dealer shops around Lancaster, like Renninger’s? Could be a fun excursion. If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know!

  4. Julia says:

    What a great resource — just signed up for their newsletter.

  5. Val says:

    For Victorian antiques, there’s no better place than Anastasia’s antiques on Bainbridge Street. Check out their instagram

  6. cara says:

    Thanks for the steer, Val!

  7. Sue Welsh says:

    Fantastic !!!! This is definetly a Philly hidden treasure . The Place to visit and get the “Good Vibes”

  8. Cate says:

    Thanks all!

Got something to say? Please say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s