Judy Gambrel’s home is filled to the rafters with Arts & Crafts furniture and other antiques, which recently helped raise over £5,000 for charity.
A fervent antiques collector and philanthropist, Gambrel’s home is the former National Lock Company factory in Rockford, Illinois. An iconic structure built in 1919, at 850,000 sq ft it is the largest industrial site in the city, built to manufacture locks, knobs and other hardware for the furniture-makers of Rockford, which was once a centre for the industry. Maury Gambrel, who ran a moving and storage company, purchased the factory as warehouse space in 1983. He was also a keen antiques collector, and when he and Judy married in 1989 they combined their two collections, housing their antique cabinets, Victorian dining chairs and other collectibles in private living quarters converted from a hospital area.
Sadly, Maury passed away in 2010, shortly before his wife appeared on American Pickers for the first time. Her home, with its iconic 10-storey clock tower, is today used by more than 40 companies, which she oversees. One area of the home has been christened the General Store, although people in Lancashire won’t find any antique chests or Victorian dining chairs for sale. Instead, they have become the focus for Judy’s fund-raising ‘Antique Walk’ events, the first of which took place recently. More than 850 people turned up at the Gambrel’s home, donating over $8,500 towards a local nursery while taking a peek inside Judy’s fascinating antique cabinets.
In Lancashire, antique dealers are often involved with charitable causes, such as the Antiques are Green movement.
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