Steel City Salvage: Deconstruction and Economic Opportunity in Gary


Why Our Work Is Needed

Gary, Indiana, is a resilient community. With the rise and ebb of Midwestern industry, in tandem with population rise and decline, Gary has lived and evolved—often with the region and nation watching.

Delta Institute has worked within Gary for years—decades even—with dozens of local community partners who are essential to our collaborative efforts’ success. Many of our supporters are familiar with Delta’s efforts to create Steel City Salvage, our deconstruction project that saves reclaimed materials from vacant buildings going to landfill—instead selling them to spur economic development within the City of Gary. Specifically, Delta has worked to establish a sustainable marketplace for these salvaged items–which includes everything from old growth lumber to wall sconces to church pews.

We are committed to ensuring that materials from Gary benefit Gary, and that operations remain within the City to provide another route for ongoing economic development.

Vacant Gary Home
Vacant Gary Property Primed for Deconstruction
Exterior of the City Church of Gary
Reclaimed Old Growth Lumber
Shoppers at the Steel City Salvage Pop-Up Market in 2017
Shoppers at the Steel City Salvage Pop-Up Market in 2017
Coasters made from Reclaimed Wood


Brief Overview of What We’ve Accomplished

After years of strategy, a successful pop-up market, and community engagement efforts, Delta closed our efforts in 2020 and dispered remaining reclaimed materials among local partners. We remain in routine contact with the Office of the Mayor, and several Gary nonprofits and community organizations. Our vision of a thriving, vibrant Gary remains unchanged, and we are excited for future projects and collaboration with our partners in the years ahead.


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Create a thriving Midwest for tomorrow by supporting Delta today.