Old Florida Longleaf Heartpine – How the Old Becomes New

This year the old Melting Pot building in Gainesville, Florida will become home to the Matheson History Museum’s Library and Archives. Constructed in 1933, this building was originally the Gainesville Gospel Tabernacle and later became the Barrow Family Antique Store before it was most recently The Melting Pot Fondue restaurant. The building’s interior is being finished with the Goodwin Company’s Old Florida longleaf heart pine flooring reclaimed from old growth hurricane damaged forests. Harvesting these damaged trees does not contribute to deforestation and still produces a wood similar in hardness to Red Oak. Goodwin’s flooring, laced with red toned growth rings, complement the building’s original ceiling beams, contributing to the authenticity and aesthetic of this historic Gainesville building. The Matheson received private donations and a $300,000 grant from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources to help finance this adaptive reuse project, which was completed by Joyner Construction, Jay Reeves Associates, and Rudy Ditmar of Rudy’s Professional floor sanding. We can’t wait to see this restoration finished and for the building to once again become a gathering place in our community!

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Lauren ColeyGuest Post by Lauren Corley

Lauren Corley is a guest author for Goodwin and is a senior in the Innovation Academy at the University of Florida studying Sustainability in the Built Environment with a minor in Innovation. She began her involvement with Goodwin at the 2015 Greenbuild conference in Washington D.C. She is from the Panhandle of Florida and gained an interest for sustainability and its use in space as a high school student. Since moving to Gainesville she has interned for the Repurpose Project as well as the Alachua County Public Schools under the Energy Conservation Specialist.

Dreams Do Come True… Sometimes They Are Just a Long Time in the Making!

Several years ago, we noticed an increase in the demand for pre-finished wood flooring.  So, we set out to find someone who was considered the best of the best in the industry to work with us.  It took three years before Dan Petersen appeared at our door after being introduced to us by a colleague. Dan is one of the best pre-finished wood experts in the business, as evidenced by the specially formulated finishes he has developed specifically for Goodwin.  Dan is talented and can provide the hardest finish on the market, produce any custom color unique to you and incorporate textures that look great on reclaimed wood.  Not to mention he is one of the smartest and nicest people you will ever meet! Dan operates Heritage Wood Finish Company here at Goodwin.

Finding Dan was only the first step.  Next, we needed a new building.  We drew up plans and applied to the County Growth Management office for a building permit for a factory finish facility. The County initially denied our request.  Today – after three more years of engineering, environmental and legal studies – we are very close to finally having our building.

As you can see, the turtles in our log pond are just as anxious as we are for it to be complete!

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Goodwin is one of the most fortunate companies, as we have been doing what we love for over 40 years. George Goodwin started pulling and sawing River-Recovered® logs in the mid-seventies and today he is still the company sawyer. He could hardly be happier!

Thank you, George, for an incredible 40 years. Here’s to our wildest successes yet to come!

The Goodwin Difference… Together, We Are as Strong as Our Wood!

  • Original River-Recovered® heart pine and heart cypress specialists
  • First reclaimed engineered floor “Made in the USA” right here at our mill
  • Environmentally, kid and pet friendly factory finishes, custom color and textures
  • Oldest family-owned and operated reclaimed wood company in the United States
  • River-Recovered and reclaimed flooring, paneling, siding, stair parts, moldings and lumber, solid/engineered, finished / unfinished

Please enjoy these photos of our new building – we are almost there!

Using Antique Wood to Warm Up a Contemporary Space

When it comes to warming up an contemporary interior with antique wood, Chris Webb of CW Interiors, Inc. is a master! Chris sourced our Legacy® building reclaimed heart pine and sinker cypress for this residential remodel just last year. What do you think about these beautiful tongue and groove Legacy® building reclaimed heart pine walls?

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These were handcrafted for a homeowner in Tampa, Florida. Incorporating antique wood in contemporary design is most definitely trending, especially among millennials who value both the uniqueness and sustainability of reclaimed wood.

Chris also built in a stunning heart cypress credenza to complement the room. Here is a closer look:

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The Legacy building reclaimed heart pine shelves really complete the space.

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When using reclaimed woods, the design possibilities are limitless. We find many clients really love the look and feel of sinker cypress. And, since antique heart cypress is rot-resistant, it is perfect for outdoor applications, including siding and ceilings.

Are you ready for a change? If so, give us a call. Whether your space is modern or traditional, antique heart cypress and heartpine offers a beautiful and desirable upgrade to any room in your home or office.

Photos by Native House Photography

Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South Part Three

Virgin (old growth) bald cypress and modern (new) growth bald cypress are the same species.  However, there are many differences between them.  Two of the most striking differences include:

  1. Old growth sinker cypress is highly dense, as it had more than 2000-3000 years to grow. The growth rings very close together, making it a much more beautiful and durable material. New growth bald cypress is harvested after about 40 – 50 years.
  2. Old growth sinker cypress builds up a full heart of cypresene oil, making it resistant to rot. New growth bald cypress, on the other hand, most definitely will rot in an exterior application.

Goodwin’s sinker cypress is specified in many outdoor projects specifically for its rot resistance.  Although virgin growth and modern growth bald cypress are the same species, they have entirely different properties.

Enjoy part three of Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South:

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.