Gilgen’s Consignment Furnishings in Cedar Falls will close on Thursday | Local News

CEDAR FALLS – Tucked away in a residential neighborhood on a brick street is a beloved consignment store that has stood the test of time for just over 37 years.

However, Gilgen’s Consignment Furnishings at 115 W. 16th St. will not reach 40. The owner has decided that his last day of business will be Thursday.

“It’s just time. I’m getting older and it’s the right thing to do,” said Jim Gilgen, 66, of Cedar Falls.

Gilgen’s Consignment Furnishings is located inside the historic building at 115 W. 16th St. that once housed a well-known grocery store.


In the summer of 1985, Gilgen, with the help of her parents, opened her doors in the historic building that once housed the longtime grocery store Hart’s Food Center.

Gilgen grew up in Akron, Ohio, but said her father, Albert, moved his family from Beloit, Wisconsin, to Cedar Falls in 1975 after taking a job at the University of Northern Iowa, where Albert would continue. to serve as a leader. from the psychology department.

The West 16th Street building is well over a century old, having been built in the early 1900s. It’s a place Gilgen literally calls home, as his living quarters are just upstairs.

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He does not plan to resell it after closing shop.

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Asked what has changed over the years, Gilgen said antiques don’t get the same attention they did decades ago.

An antique oak display case that sold 25 years ago for a mere $1,000 – one of his biggest sales ever – would now fetch Gilgen around $300, he said. declared.

On the contrary, the “hot” products have been retro items.

The store has everything on the ground floor and inside its basement, from paintings and furniture to jewelry, toys, flowerpots, t-shirts, mugs, lamps and much more.


Jim Gilgen is closing Gilgen’s Consignment Furnishings at 115 W. 16th St.


A constant has been the many repeat customers and reliable shippers.

“A lot of people enjoyed coming here to get away from everyday life,” Gilgen said. “And it was just relaxing.”

He recalled older people picking up an object, being overwhelmed with nostalgia, and saying, “I remember having this when I was a kid.”

And Gilgen personally enjoyed finding merchandise “that you won’t see every day.”

Since deciding his last day would be Thursday, Gilgen has marked down items and made a noticeable dent in his inventory.

Anything not sold by the end of Thursday will go to shippers.

Gilgen - 5

Jim Gilgen, 66, of Cedar Falls, works at his desk on Friday.


The store has been open six days a week for decades. Its current hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but at one point, Gilgen said, it stayed open until 7 p.m.

Gilgen said he would miss the routine of running his own store, but was looking forward to some well-deserved rest.

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