Wrought Iron Gates & Fence

Unique Architectural Antiques in Chapel Hill, NC


The Last Unicorn's Going Out of Business

"Retirement Sale" is Over.

It was a huge success, surpassing all the goals we had. Gratitude is in order to all who helped make it happen. Thank you all!

So...what's next?

The Last Unicorn is going to "hibernate" in July and August.

But we'll be open Saturdays 10-5, or by appointment.

In September we're going to re-arrange the inventory into a lovely one acre wooded area, and retain showrooms in two of the buildings (instead of five).

This presentation will be lighter-in-weight, and feature an intriguing balance of unique yard and garden items.

So stop in on a Saturday to see what I'm up to,

or check back with us come September.

Ole Gaines, meanwhile, will move into the apartment space in the house, then rent the "main house" to someone who appreciates the indoor & outdoor environs, & the proximity to a resident landlord...{info available upon request).

And remember: retirement is not a four-letter word.

Thanks for your support!

Press Button for Quick Video Tour.

Unicorn, Gaines, and WheatAt The Last Unicorn, our specialties are antique wrought iron gates and fences, stained glass and other unique architectural items for the home and garden.

The showroom, unlike any other, stretches across five acres of wooded wonderland. Wrought iron gates lead to hidden paths lined with ornate fences and garden art.

Along the path, hand-crafted wrought iron & glass tables, precious garden ornaments and magnificent stained glass windows – appear as characters in a strange fantasyland.

Strewn with architectural artifacts, our uniquely unorthodox showroom entices you and unleashes your creativity. Ideas are born! In the world of The Last Unicorn, anything is possible, even probable.

One reason for The Last Unicorn’s popularity may have to do with the personal philosophy behind it. Steer believes that The Last Unicorn should be a ‘well for ideas’. When people look at the diverse objects in his collection, they often discover a new or unusual use. With a little welding or painting, the transformation is complete. Pieces of old iron become bed headboards, garden trellises, bookshelves or coffee tables.” - Chapel Hill News

The Last Unicorn was birthed in New Market, Southern Maryland in 1974-5 by Gaines Steer and Sarah Banta Smith. Originally The Last Unicorn was a country antique store, also featuring vintage clothing and arts and crafts on consignment.

Gaines “re-invented” TLU in North Carolina in 1991 both as a means to make a living and to showcase his growing interest in collecting and promoting unique architectural antiques. The original mainstays of the business, the antique wrought iron gate and wrought iron fence, remain to this day our core elements. The original business plan is still intact, a source of pride and accomplishment.

The small, yet unusual, house which Gaines and Paul Konove (Carolina Country Builders designed and built in 1987-8 and “the most gorgeous 5 acres in the South…” soon became host and display to an ever-expanding collection of architectural embellishments….. The outdoor showroom is perhaps the only display of wrought and cast iron that requires a customer map to survey the premises.

The grounds include over a dozen themed display and demonstration areas with names like:

The Secret Garden, The Iron Forest, The Unicorn’s Lair, Chapel Woods, NC Reincarnation Pathway, The Yellow Brick Road, Narnia Wood, & Planter Trail.

Click here for a map of the grounds.

The Last Unicorn (919) 968-8440 Chapel Hill, NC


Home Events Photos Articles Directions About Us Creative Writing ServicesContact
Website Design by Mishagos.com