If you’re looking for barn wood in Chicago, head over to Rebuilding Exchange now. They have bays full of barn wood from Michigan. I was there last weekend, and I can confirm it is gorgeous, more affordable than anything I’ve seen elsewhere, and the money goes to a good cause: supporting an organization dedicated to keeping old-growth lumber out of landfills and available to local woodworkers and tradesmen.
If you’re not into barn wood, they also have some amazing old growth yellow pine and fir timbers from Detroit demolitions. I picked up some choice 3x10s and 4x6s, some of which I plan to keep the way they are, and others I plan to plane down and refinish.
Primitive, weathered reclaimed furniture and siding may be all the rage right now, but even if it goes out of style, these reclaimed timbers are still far superior to new lumber. Planed, they glow with a mature patina that you just cannot find in modern species.