Steven Miller and Stephen Oppenheim
Our Mission is to recycle the past to make a more livable future. When Hippo Hardware orginally formed, the word "recycling" hadn't been invented. The notion of selling things that many people threw away was considered strange at best. Hippo Hardware began out of Steven Miller and Stephen Oppenheim's vision for creating a business that could simultaneously provide a much needed resource for home restorers, artists, and craftsmen and create a fun, supportive working environment for all of it's employees.
Hippo Hardware is a Portland institution that specializes in original and reproduction hardware, lighting, and plumbing. It is the kind of place where shopping is more of an experience than an errand. With their ever-changing inventory, you never know what treasures are hiding out amongst the hippos!
When they first moved into their iconic space on East Burnside in 1976, Hippo Hardware installed 5,000 hooks on the ceilings to accommodate all of their light fixtures... now most of those hooks are double and triple hung. If you are in search of vintage or specialty lighting chances are they'll have what you are looking for. They have a wide array of tubs, toilets, and sinks. The hardware department is an amazing resource if you live in an older house that looses parts every once in awhile that need replacing. In their gigantic basement they house many unique architectural pieces: moldings, columns, fireplace mantels, windows and doors.
Hippo Hardware buys or trades for quality vintage items. If you are thinking of a remodel or an update, stop by Hippo and see if they can give your unwanted items a chance to find a new home. Here's what they are looking for:
Architecture: Panneled doors & unusual windows, molding & trim, wood flooring, new posts and columns, decorative wood peices, and wainscoting.
Hardware: Almost anything from the 1800's - 1940s. Door knobs & back plates, door bells, cabinet knobs, window lifts & pulls, door & window locks (save the catch!).
Lighting: Lighting ranging from the oil lamps of the early 1800's up to fixtures from the 1960s.
Plumbing: Clawfoot bathtubs, pedestal sinks, towel bars, tumbler holders, bathroom sinks and valves.
Due to the sheer volume of inventory, not everything is available on the Hippo website. If you don't see what you are looking for they encourage you to contact their friendly staff to help you track down specific items.
(Images: Molly Anderson)