So the altar (a side altar, not the main) comes to us as a sort of legacy, which someone (probably me) needs to capture because it will become a part of our history.
But the really sad stories were still to come.
Fr. Davis was talking with someone recently about the altar purchase and this person said "Wait a minute," said his (Seattle-area) church had just been remodeled and the altar had been replaces, and he called somebody on his cellphone. After a couple of minutes he said, "They did WHAT!?!" and Fr. Davis thought it best to move out of earshot. When the conversation ended, Fr. Davis said, "They destroyed it, didn't they?" Yes. It had been put in a machine that just crushed it. Crushed this man too -- a lifelong member of that church, that altar had always been present to him. Destroyed with no opportunity to continue to be used elsewhere.
And he had another story of a remodeled (local?) church where the altar was simply broken up and the pieces piled in a room (for eventual disposal).
Yes, it's "just" furniture and if one is changing the altar setup from ad orientem (sp?) to facing the congregation, the old altar is likely in the way and has to go. And yet there are traditional churches (like St. Bartholomew's) that would love to acquire and use these altars. (Our old altar, the plywood folding-altar from our days of church-in-a-box, is giving out, as noted earlier.)
But as Fr. Davis notes, we will soon have an altar with a history of well over a century of worship before it, and that history will continue here.