Second Empire Furniture

2 & 4 Legged Staff

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Stephen Alexander founded Second Empire in 1985 in New York's Hudson River Valley near West Point. It was primarily a restoration shop, until in 1989, to raise his cabinetmaking skills,  he went off to Boston to attend the cabinetmaking program at the North Bennet Street School.

While at NBSS, he met his future wife, who was studying Bookbinding. Later she  applied for,  and was accepted for,  a position at the Library of Congress, as a conservator. They settled in Baltimore after  their graduation, where Stephen set up shop.

Aside from running his own business, he has also spent 5 years as one of three Senior Design Associates for the Niermann Weeks Co. in Annapolis, a manufacturer of high end furniture and lighting. While there, he helped design and develop a number of the antiqued faux and natural wood finishes for which they have been famous. 

A senior design job with Chapman Manufacturing in Avon Massechusetts followed for another four years.  His tasks while there was to bolster up this high end lighting companies long neglected furniture line with new designs and finishes.

In 2000, with those previous 9 years of experience under his belt,  he went back to the full time running of his own business again. 

Robert Frey, Ginger & Katy

Robert Frey is a 1990 graduate of the North Bennet Street School's cabinetmaking program. He has created pieces for McLain Wiesand and Chapman Manufacturing. His copy of a Klismos chair from the Madison White House from  the Baltimore Museum of Art's Power, Politics & Style  exhibition is now part of the permanent collection of the Maryland Historical Society. When it comes to complex shapes in wood, if Robert can't make it, and make it to last, it can't be made.

A Stow Away On A Delivery

The four legged members of our staff only started here in earnest in early 2005 with the unexpected arrival one morning of a mud covered, dirty and homeless 1+ year old English Shepherd we named Katy. She cleaned up well,  and shop life seemed to agree with her. Little did we know until a month or so later that we were to have 9 more shop dogs by the end of May. 
Of that litter, all but one found other welcoming homes; Ginger, was adopted by Robert Frey, and has remained as invaluable to the shop as her master.
Late in the summer of '06, when another English Shepherd  from Ohio needed a home, we took in 4 year old Sabrina, who graced us with her wonderful and unique personality, love, and loyalty for nearly four years, until her sudden passing in 2010.  We brought Bixter into our lives a couple of months later. An English Shepherd from Whippoorwill Farm, down in Tennessee, Bixter was eight weeks old at the time. He has grown up in the shop, and has been a joy to have around.
To see  more of them you can click on any of the dogs photos.
For our customers who just don't like dogs however, we can assign them to office duty's (sleeping on the sofa).

Sabrina 2001-2010
Mother & Daughter

Katy & Bixter

2927 Guilford Ave., Baltimore, Maryland

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