Making limited run guitars using reclaimed wood seems to be quite the fashion these days. Fender, Gibson and PRS have all released stunning six-string treasures recently that give players the chance to tap into old wood tone in an eco-friendly way, while also giving them interesting backstories to share between songs. Wallace Detroit Guitars has been making guitars using wood reclaimed from the Motor City for the last few years, and its latest series of handcrafted axes are fashioned from wood salvaged from a former Detroit Fire Department HQ.
"Detroit is a community of people who know how to make stuff, and our company is cut from that same cloth," said the firm's owner Mark Wallace. "The firehouse at 250 West Larned Street served our city with honor for many years, and we are pleased to be able to preserve its history in this truly unique limited edition of instruments."
Each Firehouse Series guitar body will be made from either maple or pine from floorboards in the old Fire Dept headquarters at 250 West Larned Street in downtown Detroit, a site that's been occupied by the Motor City's fire departments since about 1840. The neoclassical building that became the long-time home of Michigan's oldest fire department was designed by Hans Gehrke and constructed in 1929.
It served at the DFD headquarters until 2013, when it was sold to developers who planned to transform it into a boutique hotel. A cache of old wood resulted from renovation work on the five story, steel-framed landmark clad in red brick and gray terra cotta, from which Wallace has made a limited series of guitars.
The first two instruments off the workbench will be made from salvaged pine and sport a new offset body shape with twin horns. The remaining 10 Firehouse guitars will be roughly Telecaster shaped and made from reclaimed maple. All of the instruments will have a Michigan maple neck, hand-wound pickups, and will be engraved with a special serial number starting with Detroit area code 313 followed by DFD (Detroit Fire Department).
Limited to just 12 guitars, and each one having its own unique look, the Firehouse Series guitars carry a starting ticket price of US$2,800 each, which makes them a tad more expensive than reclaimed wood instruments from Fender and PRS, but not quite in the same ball park as Gibson. A hand-made guitar strap made from reclaimed car upholstery will also accompany each series member.
Source: Wallace Detroit Guitars