Olde Good Things is a unique, fast-growing store filled with a variety of old, interesting artifacts specializing in rare New York City architectural finds.
The shop is as an antique and high-end architectural salvage store, where a door knob from the 1800s might sell for as much as $750, or a silver-plated chandelier for more than $17,000. Many items in the shop come from old building or factory parts that have been refurbished in the company’s Scranton, Pennsylvania, warehouse.
The chain has five shops in New York and two in Los Angeles. There are antique entryways and doors, porcelain sinks, cast iron bathtubs, stained glass windows, glass and brass doorknobs, and rare pieces of wooden furniture. It is magical spot where you can discover where time stood still. You will not find any true crap here, just wonderful antique objects and architectural elements.
Almost everything that is on sale has its own history.
When I visited the shop at Bowery, two doors from Houston and Bowery intersection in the East Village, I spotted a vintage street light from Paris. There were lot of mirrors with nice frames and a lot of chandeliers. Olde Good Things is a favorite of the city’s top decorators (Calvin Klein buys store embellishments here, as does BCBG) and those who just want a piece of history.
Olde Good Things is familiar to many New Yorkers, but almost nobody know that The Church of Bible Understanding , a controversial religious sect, is behind this chain. A sect was founded in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1971 by Stewart Traill, a former vacuum-cleaner salesman. Traill teaches that he is the reincarnation of Elijah, and that he knows the date of the return of Christ. Central belief if the cult is: The Bible is written in a color-based code only COBU leader Mr. Traill can understand.
The members of the church live communally and receive little and very little money goes to charitable works. Most of the proceeds of the church business go to Stewart Traill, though properties and bank accounts are in the Church of Bible Understanding's name, not Traill's name.
The group has been accused of being a cult, and it has been estimated that Traill became a millionaire from it.
Traill controls every aspect of members’ lives through harsh criticism, shame, and public humiliation. The church, which members say is financially separate from the Olde Good Things antique stores it owns, reported income of $3 million and expenses of $2.8 million in their tax filings from 2011. The longtime leader and pastor, Stewart Traill, lives today in a 12,000-square-foot home in Coral Springs, Florida.
The owners of the shop tell customers that part of the proceeds go to pay for an orphanage the group runs in Haiti. The latest eye-opener about the Haitian orphanage was uncovered by an Associated Press investigation, which sent reporters to Haiti to check out the orphanage for themselves. The church claims in IRS filings to be spending around $2.5 million annually on the charity. The home for boys and girls in Haiti was so dirty and overcrowded during recent inspections that the government said it shouldn't remain open.