PLACEText: Kanya Niijima

Located in a rather dull industrial neighborhood in Berkeley, Urban Ore is a locals’ hidden hangout spot for scoping out unusual treasures. Formally described as “Discard Management Center”, Urban Ore may be defined as more than ordinary so-called junk stores. By picking up over 3500 tons of refuse as their sales items from the city’s waste system, Urban Ore re-distributes what seems to be “dead” products discarded from the local homes and businesses, greatly contributing to reduce the whole waste level in Berkeley.

In the vast store space occupying the half of the street block, Urban Ore is divided into three sections with different product lines specified. The Building Materials Exchange, located outside of the store, specializes home improvement products from doors to bathtubs. The General Store in the main space mostly caters all sort of furniture and interior goodies.

There are many cool retro items from 60’s and 70’s such as fluorescent colored barber chairs that were discarded from a local shop decades ago. Another giant room next to the main space is called The Arts and Media Room where you’ll find miscellaneous old computers, unusual used books/magazines, family photographs, records, and other visual/audio items.

If you are seeking fresh graphic resources, it may be easy to spend the whole day looking through the countless amount of inspiring materials. Even if not, it’s worthwhile stopping by the store. Urban Ore always has something for everybody.

Open: 8:30 – 17:00 (Closed on Sunday)
Address: 1333 Sixth Street, Berkeley, San Francisco 94710
Tel: +1 510 848 6370

Text: Kanya Niijima

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