Architecture: The Gargoyle Snatchers

Junkyard bargains, from limestone putti to dented iron deer, have long been available for those with offbeat tastes. But as architectural monuments are bulldozed into extinction across the land, a new group of collectors is springing up — architectural buffs who first picket to preserve the best of the old, then, if the wreckers move in, haunt the ruins in hopes of rescuing a cornice, a caryatid, a cartouche, an ornamented corbel, or some Tiffany glass.

Protesting the Ball. In Chicago, hunks of Louis Sullivan elevator grilles salvaged from the Stock Exchange now partition a...