Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South Part Two

After the Civil War and during reconstruction, things were chaotic in the south.  There was an abundance of cheap land, much of which was bought up by northern lumber and timber interest who needed a new source. The easiest way to access the longleaf pines near rivers was to cut through the bald cypress and create a road that led to them. Loggers then went to great lengths to girdle the trees in hopes of decreasing their weight in preparation to float them down river to sawmills. They would also use man-made auger holes to place a pole between one tree which had been girdled and one which had not to float them down the river. Sometimes this technique would work. However, when this strategy failed, trees would sink to the bottom and be lost.  These are the trees we recover and transform into our beautiful antique heart pine and heart cypress wood flooring, paneling and ceilings.

As you can see, there is much, much more to sinker cypress than meets the eye.  Enjoy part two of Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South:

Sustainable, River-Recovered® Heart Pine

Sustainable, River-Recovered® Heart Pine Adds Eco-Friendly Appeal to University of Florida’s Newest Academic Center

Antique Wood Meets Contemporary Design in Highly Anticipated On-Campus Structure

(Gainesville, FL) – Sustainable, River-Recovered® Heart Pine is the focal point of the University of Florida’s (UF) new, world-class, Otis Hawkins Center for Academic and Personal Excellence (Hawkins Center); designed to support and enhance the academic experiences of the university’s athletes. The wood – which encompasses 10,000 square feet of ceiling and wall paneling – was provided by Goodwin Company, pioneers of the River-Recovered® process. Goodwin recovers antique logs from river bottoms – where they have been perfectly preserved for hundreds of years – and mills them into arguably the most beautiful and sustainable wood flooring and paneling in the world.

According to Chip Howard, Executive Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs, UF sits upon what once was a vast longleaf pine forest. Longleaf is pinus palustris or “pine of the swamp.” UF Grounds Services uses many native species when planting and several of the new buildings on campus have added young longleaf pines into their landscapes. The incorporation of locally sourced antique heart pine in the Hawkins Center is a nod to the legacy and shared history between UF and that ancient longleaf forest.

“The new Hawkins Center incorporates locally sourced, antique wood into a contemporary design,” explains Howard. “We wanted to build the highest caliber, most unique and modern collegiate academic center to provide all the necessary resources for our students, so Goodwin’s River-Recovered® Heart Pine just made sense. Goodwin is the pioneer in the industry. The sustainability of the wood, coupled with its unmatched quality and remarkable beauty, contribute significantly to the overall aesthetics and appeal of the building.”

This is not the first time Goodwin’s wood has been used on the UF campus. Last year, the company provided their River-Recovered® Vertical Heart Pine, Legacy® Heart Pine and Curly Heart Pine for use in the Dasburg House, home to UF President Kent Fuchs, Ph.D. Goodwin collaborated with an exemplary team of professionals on the Hawkins Center project, including Parrish-McCall Constructors Inc. (project builder), DR Nickelson & Co. (wood installer), Beverly Frank of Gould Evans Architects (specifier of the River-Recovered® Heart Pine) and Chip Howard and his staff.

“Incorporating traditional wood to warm up contemporary spaces is trending,” says Carol Goodwin, President of Goodwin Company. “The Hawkins Center exemplifies the latest and greatest in modern design. We were pleased to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible building design team on this very exciting project.”

The 83,000 square foot Hawkins Center celebrated its official dedication on Monday, June 27, 2016. The center provides UF’s more than 480 student athletes with a study area along with tutoring, academic advising, nutrition, research, wellness, leadership, job placement and other services.

About Goodwin Company
Founded in 1976, Goodwin Company is the building design industry’s trusted partner and preferred resource for fine antique reclaimed and River-Recovered® wood flooring. Goodwin has earned an indisputable reputation for using the strictest grading standards of any company in the marketplace. Additionally, Heritage Wood Finishing Company produces a line of superior finishing and color options formulated exclusively for Goodwin’s “install ready” flooring. Demand for rich, high quality flooring continues to flourish as esteemed architects, designers and builders specify Goodwin’s products for use in luxury residential homes, historical renovations and commercial projects including corporate office buildings, universities, libraries and high-end retail establishments. Prominent work includes: This Old House corporate offices, private residences of Bob Villa, Sir Paul McCartney, Dick Cavett, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ted Turner, Weyland Art Gallery, Brownwood at The Villages, the Charnley-Norwood House, Naples Botanical Garden, University of Florida’s Dasburg House and the Texas Governor’s Mansion. For more information, visit www.heartpine.com

 

Photos by Native House Photography

Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South: Part One

Goodwin’s resident history enthusiast, Jeffrey Forbes, describes the origins of River-Recovered® Heart Cypress – a.k.a. sinker cypress.  Hundreds of years ago, the Suwannee River ran “clear”, more like a spring, as opposed to the murky waters we know today.  Both sides of the river were literally walls of bald cypress (a.k.a. tidewater red cypress, sinker cypress). These gentle giants were more than 100 feet tall and 2000-3000 years old. Behind the wall of bald cypress you would find millions acres of longleaf pine, which Goodwin also recovers today.

Goodwin recently recovered a 35 foot long sinker cypress log that was left by loggers of yesteryear in the Withlacoochee river (which runs into the Suwannee) hundreds of years ago.  Much of it has now been milled and is being used at the Bok Tower Gardens expansion project in Lake Wales, Florida.  This is what sustainable design is all about.  Rather than cut down forests, Goodwin recovers antique logs from river bottoms for architects and interior designers to incorporate into award-winning, sustainable designs. Homeowners love the wood because it is not only beautiful and durable, but it comes with an intriguing and rich story behind its origin.

The above video is the first in a multi-part series outlining the “story” behind  these gentle giants of the south.  Enjoy!

When We Say Custom Crafted…

Did you know we have a huge pond filled with sinker heart pine logs right behind our mill? When we say custom crafted, we mean it!

As you know, George Goodwin is the pioneer of the River-Recovered® process. Goodwin Company has been recovering sinker logs from river bottoms for 40 years and turning them into the most beautiful wood flooring, wood paneling and wood ceilings in the world. We do not immediately mill all the logs we recover; instead, some find a temporary home in our log pond, which is the best way to preserve them until needed. This isn’t a new idea either. Historically, mill sites were often accompanied by log ponds as a way to preserve and easily move their raw materials. When you place a custom order, many times we head to the pond, select a nice sinker heart pine log and mill it just for you!

Sustainable design is the heart of what we do. Building design professionals work with us because we not only partner with them every step of the way, but our eco-friendly process and high quality, sustainable products qualify for LEED credits. Homeowners contact us because they desire more than a store-bought floor in a box that will likely not wear well and will need to be replaced in a few years. Our sustainable wood flooring, paneling and ceilings are handcrafted from centuries old sinker logs and are designed to provide you and your family with a quality product that can be enjoyed for generations to come!

Take a quick peek at our large and impressive heart pine log pond:

Ready for us to begin handcrafting your new wood floor, ceiling or paneling? Please give us a call!

A Professor’s Perspective of Sinker Cypress and Heartpine

image06175142651We enjoyed vising with Penn State University professor Dr. Chuck Roy and visiting professor Dr. Ivan Sopushynskyy from the Ukraine. Dr. Roy described their approach to Goodwin in an illustrative e-mail to us:

“I could sense Ivan’s anticipation mount as we turned off the highway. We’d been seeing nothing but southern pine and swamps for awhile, and he seemed to know he was about to experience something completely different from the Carpathian mountains.”

Thank you for posting these most interesting highlights from your visit with us:

We appreciated the opportunity to host you and demonstrate how we turn River-Recovered® and reclaimed antique heart pine and heart cypress into the world’s most beautiful and exclusive wood flooring and paneling.

Are you interested in learning more about sinker cypress and other antique wood? Give us a call to schedule a personized and complimentary tour of our facility.

An Honest Comparison of Laminate vs. Wood

Many companies – including those who claim to produce high-end reclaimed wood flooring – have decided to re-direct some of their efforts into manufacturing what is marketed as high end laminate flooring. Goodwin will never venture into this market for several reasons.  While we prefer to stick with sustainable, durable, high-quality antique wood flooring, we are often asked the differences between wood and laminate.  This letter from a homeowner converting from laminate to real wood was published by Hardwood Floors.  It does an excellent job of explaining the differences from someone who knows first-hand:

Laminate cannot replace true wood, and there is no wood that is richer, more beautiful and of as high of quality as River-Recovered® or reclaimed heart pine and sinker cypress.  Compare a sample of our wood against any other finished wood in the world and you will clearly see why Goodwin is the industry gold standard.