Listed on the National Register of Historic places, and designated both a National and Mississippi Landmark, Beauvoir has a storied history. The home was built by Mississippi planter, James Brown, in 1848 and completed in 1852. She sits immediately on the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, a forever dynamic and saline environment.
The estate was purchased from Brown by Samuel and Sarah Dorsey in 1873. Samuel died a few short years later. His widow Sarah, a novelist and biographer, learned of the financial woes that had befallen former Confederate States President, Jefferson Davis. Dorsey reached out to Davis and invited him and wife Varina Davis to join her at Beauvoir. They accepted.
Later, as Dorsey discovered she was dying of cancer, the author bequeathed the estate to the Davises. Jefferson and Varina moved into the home. Davis died in 1889. In 1902 Varina sold the property to the Sons of Confederate Veterans to be used as a veteran’s home and later a memorial to her husband.
The grand home has witnessed many storms over its nearly 175-year existence. In 1969 it survived a battering by powerful hurricane Camille. But in 2005 Beauvoir’s lucky streak ran out. On August 29th hurricane Katrina, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the Gulf Coast pummeled the old house with a 20 foot plus storm surge and punishing waves. Several structures on the campus were completely destroyed. The storm devastated the home opening its face to the gulf waters and ripping the old growth heart cypress exterior galleries off of the wood frame structure. That home survived, beaten, but standing.
In time, efforts came together to restore the historic home. Structural and interior restoration took place first. Later the broad gallery was replaced, but this time with modern, pressure treated lumber. Fast forward nine years and in that very saline environment, the pressure treated galleries began to twist and pull up to the point of becoming a safety hazard to visitors.
The Goodwin Company was called on by General Contractor JO Collins to mill 3,112sf of 1×6 River-Recovered ® Antique Heart Cypress to restore the Beauvoir galleries and the grand front staircase. Afterall, virgin, old growth bald cypress is what the hoes stairs and galleries were milled from originally. The tight growth rings and heavy concentration of naturally occurring, wood preserving cypresene oil in the River-Recovered ® material made it the perfect, stable choice for the restoration.
Any well-done restoration is historically accurate. And while the beauty of River-Recovered ® Heart Cypress is one of its significant charms, this project was all about stability and so the galleries and stairs were painted with porch paint as they had been originally.
Tasty burgers and Antique River Recovered® Heart Cypress make quite the combo. The recently completed Shake Shack in Vineland Point, Orlando is topped with Antique River Recovered® Heart Cypress. Cypress appointments fill this eyepopping burger stand; with custom-designed feature ceilings, sign backers, and an order/pick-up window.
The Vineland Point location features 850 square feet of 3/4 x 2-1/2″ Tongue and Groove paneling. 572 linear feet of 2 x 6″ was ripped into rough 2 x 2″ and surface to 1.5 x 1.5″. All materials are River Recovered Heart Cypress Vertical.
This Shake Shack location was designed by Gensler Architects, Tampa office, and the installation was completed by Bay Meadow Architectural Millwork, Inc. of Longwood, FL. Another Shake Shack Location in the Dadeland Mall in Miami was designed by Gensler Architects and completed by Southeast Wood Crafters in Boca Raton. We look forward to working with Shake Shack, Gensler Architects, and Udink Construction on Shake Shack’s new location in the Del Amo Fanion Center, Torrance, CA.
Find cypress that fits your project or that matches Vineland Point Shake Shack Cypress here!
“I am writing to offer my highest praise, and most profound gratitude to The Goodwin Company for their partnership on the creation of the floors of our new art museum. The beautiful floors of our 23,000 sq ft exhibition galleries were lovingly crafted of exquisite reclaimed heart pine, salvaged from the joists of the 1926 M. Leo Elliott designed former Sarasota High School.
As an art museum director and curator, meticulously designing every aspect of the gallery experience was paramount to the success of the project. After seeing the gorgeous raw lumber during the demo phase of the project, centuries-old, I became committed to repurposing this special wood—from an historic, aesthetic and environmental standpoint, this was unquestionably the right thing to do.
But it was not easy.
We were so fortunate to find our partners at The Goodwin Company to bring this ambitious project to fruition. The floors are beautiful in their own right, and they provide an elegant platform and framing device for the wide range of contemporary art we install there. They complement, but never compete with the art. We could not be more pleased with the results.
Goodwin understood the complexity involved in adaptive reuse, and the particular challenges involved in repurposing a 1920s era building into a high-performance building, with the necessary environmental conditions for an art museum, and the heavy foot traffic of a public space. During construction Goodwin brought the first technical director of the National Wood Floor Association to meet with the entire team and assist with the subfloor, sound attenuation and insulation requirements. Once the floor was installed, Goodwin brought the finish manufacturer’s team onsite to consult with the Museum’s curatorial and facilities team to ensure the long-term preservation of this fine art environment.
In addition to their consummate professionalism and technical expertise, the Goodwin team was a pure delight to work with, always going above and beyond to creatively problem-solve and to ensure the highest quality product possible.
If you are considering The Goodwin Company for your project, I would be delighted to share more about this journey, should you wish to discuss.
With best regards,
Anne-Marie Russell, Founding Executive Director, Sarasota Art Museum ”
Temperatures rise, the air gets thicker and the days grow longer – summer is upon us! As the seasons change and the atmosphere becomes more inviting, we start looking for ways to spruce up our common areas. Whether you plan on having guests over or it’s just for your satisfaction, it’s always exciting to get creative and revamp our areas!
Take a look at how one homeowner chose to design the deck that surrounds his outside koi pond! Goodwin’s own Jeffrey Forbes assisted with selecting twelve of our River Recovered® Heart Cypress slabs for the project. Our cypress wood makes up either side of the deck and its associated skirting.
Why choose cypress wood for exterior application? River Recovered® Heart Cypress certainly is an excellent wood to be used outdoors! Throughout the span of hundreds of years, an organic oil forms in the heart of the wood called cypresene. The build-up of cypresene oil makes the wood incredibly rot resistant. An exterior grade Danish oil was used for finishing, bringing out the superior grain of the wood. Applying the finishing oil quarterly will help maintain the deck’s striking appearance and provide longevity.
But this particular homeowner did not stop with the beautiful renovations of the outside! Two of our hand-hewn River Recovered® Heart Pine beams are displayed in a bedroom and are perfect for breaking up the rather large area. These beams were harvested over a century ago, from trees between 200-500 years old! The non-structural columns add even more character to the already creative room. We would love to see how you have dressed up your deck. Especially if you have used Heart Cypress!
Calling All Education Enthusiasts
Are you fascinated with history? Better yet, do timeless pieces of literature delight you? Here at Goodwin Company, we are the proud possessor of, “An Inside Story of Tidewater Red Cypress for Interiors of Beauty and Stability”. In our showroom, we carry this book originating in 1936 that gives wisdom on “The Wood Eternal”, Cypress that develops in the waters. It provides some of the rich history behind our River-Recovered® Heart Cypress collections.
Pieces of the Publication
“An Inside Story of Tidewater Red Cypress for Interiors of Beauty and Stability” is 28 pages packed with photos, information, and unique facts on how long cypress has been around, and how ancient civilizations utilized this antique wood throughout history. Did you know cypress was the material used to construct mummy cases? Modern day caskets adopt the same techniques, demonstrating that history does repeat itself.
Drilling Into the Past to Understand the Present
Classic literature enlightens readers to take a look inside earlier days, building knowledge on a previously studied topic or something unfamiliar and totally new. One of a kind finds like this print are preserved and often cannot be duplicated. Seasoned articles and books are essential to comprehend how the past molds the present, often providing insight and inspiration.
Upon reading the book, Goodwin Company follows the same traditions practiced in the earlier times. Our Eternal Collection consists of dense cypress logs that floated down the river in the 18th and 19th centuries, before being retrieved from river bottoms and constructed into our signature sinker cypress wood products. Much the same as the logs recovered 100,000 years ago, our logs are crafted delicately to establish the longevity and low maintenance to last a lifetime.
Wood You Like to Know More?
Fortunately, the book has been digitized and is available electronically. Or, you can stop by our showroom here at Goodwin to see the unique book in its physical form, then take a gander at our very own Heart Cypress and see how we deliver to your custom needs. Here’s a look at how one homeowner used our River-Recovered® Heart Cypress Pecky to enhance their den:
River-Recovered® Heart Cypress Character shines equally bright both indoors and outdoors. Our dear friend Chad Cordwin at Cordwin Tree Service, Inc. had his kitchen cabinets crafted using Heart Cypress Character with a bird’s eye grain. The cypress colors and textures lend this space the warm, inviting glow a kitchen deserves.
River-Recovered Heart Cypress Character is 100% heart, 100% dense growth. Its swirling grain is a blend of arching, vertical, and feathery patterns in colors varying from warm honey through cinnamon tan to light chocolate. The “character” of this grade comes from its pecky areas, face checks, and knots of any size. Heart Cypress is naturally tough, resistant to rot damage and termites.
If you need to remove or prune a tree, grind a stump, or assess foliage for storm risks, we highly recommend Cordwin Tree Service, Inc. Visit their website at or give them a call at 352-591-3642.
Goodwin Company partnered with LAKE|FLATO architects in San Antonio, Texas to provide our River-Recovered® and reclaimed Heart Cypress for the construction of the Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor’s Center at Naples Botanical Garden. The end result was gorgeous – so much so that it is among the 15 projects detailed in LAKE|FLATO Architects’ new book, Nature | Place | Craft | Restraint. If you liked what Goodwin did for the Naples Botanical Garden, you’ll definitely want to check out the other amazing projects in this new book!
River-Recovered and reclaimed wood is trending in 2021. If you have an upcoming remodeling, historic restoration or new construction project, our antique wood specialists can help select the perfect species to warm up your home or commercial space. Give us a call to learn more today.
- Learn More About Goodwin’s River-Recovered Heart Cypress
- See Our Specials on Existing Milled Inventory
Be sure to follow our new Daily Log on Twitter. It’s chock full of fun facts and interesting tidbits. We invite you to take a short break from the workday to see what news floats down the river!
A few years ago, Goodwin Company partnered with LAKE|FLATO architects in San Antonio, Texas to provide our River-Recovered® and reclaimed Heart Cypress for the construction of the Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor’s Center at Naples Botanical Garden. We’re happy to announce that this is one of the 15 projects detailed in LAKE|FLATO Architects’ new book, Nature | Place | Craft | Restraint. If you liked what Goodwin did for the Naples Botanical Garden, you’ll definitely want to check out their other amazing projects in this new book!
We often talk about how Goodwin’s wood meets or exceeds the highest industry grading standards. This is important, especially when it comes to antique wood such as River-Recovered® and reclaimed heart cypress and heart pine. However, another crucial component of delivering the highest quality antique wood on the market is craftsmanship.
The antique wood specialists at Goodwin take time and care to ensure each board is produced to the exact specification. Our process may take longer, but we do not believe in producing our products in bulk. When you purchase a Goodwin, you have the comfort of knowing that each and every board was handcrafted to perfection!
Our antique wood specialists can help you design the space of your dreams. Give us a call to learn more today.
Paula and Randy from Florida Crotchwood Mobile Sawmill drop by on occasion to saw River-Recovered® heart cypress logs into beautiful slabs that can be handcrafted into gorgeous mantles, tables, shelves, signage, accents and anything else you can imagine.
This video shows our own Joe Collins skillfully crafting a fireplace mantle out of a River-Recovered heart cypress slab. Take a look:
Often referred to as, “The Wood Eternal”, antique heart cypress (a.k.a. sinker cypress) is one of the few remaining prehistoric species. Coloring can vary, displaying anything from warm honey to light chocolate tones. Traditional grades (Select, Vertical) can feature a plain sawn feathery, subtle arching swirling grain and, in some cases, vertical pinstripes. Midnight, Pecky, and Character heart cypress each have their own distinguishing characteristics for a more unique look.
Looking to incorporate heart cypress into your upcoming design project? If so, the antique wood specialists at Goodwin can help you determine which grade of heart cypress best suits your upcoming project. Give us a call to learn more today!
Goodwin Company Tapped to Transform Historic Wood Assets into
Modern Engineered Heart Pine Flooring
The new Sarasota Art Museum is a remarkable story of adaptive re-use and building material recycling. Housed in the old 1926 Sarasota High School building, it is a contemporary art museum in the Kunsthalle tradition and now a premier venue for revolving shows of contemporary art.
Goodwin Company, pioneers of River-Recovered® heart pine and heart cypress, was recruited to participate in this adaptive re-use project by general contractor, Willis-Smith. The focus was to transform the second and third floors of the high school building by remodeling the boxy classroom space into two open concept exhibition halls.
All of the heart pine joists from each floor were removed and replaced with steel joists. The design team envisioned recycling the beams and turning them into finished wood flooring. Willis-Smith contacted Goodwin and the rest is history.
Goodwin Company cleaned the beams of all foreign objects, re-sawed the material into 1×6 lamellas and then milled it into 23,000 square feet of Precision Engineered heart pine flooring. What resulted was a magnificent story of adaptive re-use and building material recycling.
“Goodwin Company is often specified for adaptive re-use projects because of our dedication to ensuring each and every piece of antique wood is carefully cleaned, sawn, and milled to the highest standards,” explains Carol Goodwin, President of Goodwin Company. “It was important to ensure this new modern space gave a nod to the heart pine that was so much a part of the building’s rich history.”
The old Sarasota High School is a three-story building designed by architect Leo Elliott in the neo-gothic tradition. Behind the Sarasota Art Museum sits the modern Sarasota High School designed in 1959 by architect Paul Rudolph. Architecturally, the two buildings stand in stark contrast to one another. Several years ago, the circa 1926 building came up for sale and was under the threat of demolition. Concerned parties influenced the Sarasota School Board to lease the building to the Ringling College of Art & Design to create the new Sarasota Art Museum.
Lawson Group Architects led the adaptive reuse of the buildings, and Terence Riley of Keenan/Riley is the design architect for the project. Sarasota Art Museum’s executive director, Anne-Marie Russell, played a significant design role as well.
Look for more photos of the complete project coming soon!
Hicks Koski Tower
Tom & Sherri Koski Gallery
Photography: Ryan Gamma
Artist: Sheila Hicks Questioning Column
Goodwin Precision Engineered Heart Pine
Today’s flooring market is flooded with inferior products that simply do not withstand pets, children or heavy foot traffic. When you choose Goodwin, you can take comfort in knowing that our high quality products are not only manufactured to last your lifetime, but for generations to come.
Goodwin custom milled wood for this residence more than 21 years ago and it’s arguably even more gorgeous today than when it was first installed! Goodwin provided 4000sqft of River-Recovered® heart pine and heart cypress and sustainable wild black cherry tongue and groove for this home.
- A focal point is the feature wall and attached mantel crafted from River-Recovered heart cypress.
- River-Recovered heart pine was used for flooring, custom railings, stair treads, Newell posts and trims.
- The columns are re-sawn virgin cypress columns harvested from a church in Georgia.
- Sustainable wild black cherry was installed in the bedrooms.
- A gorgeous bed frame constructed from sustainably harvested wild black cherry can be found in the master bedroom.
All of the wood was finished with a poly finish. Since installation, the color has deepened with age. Heart pine is especially photo-reactive, revealing a gorgeous red patina when exposed to light over time.
The wood has not been touched up since it was installed 21 years ago. It has endured three generations’ worth of foot traffic, including children and dogs, and is still in pristine condition. If needed, heart pine can be sanded and refinished multiple times, lasting centuries with proper care.
Goodwin’s River-Recovered®, building reclaimed, and sustainably harvested woods have been specified for use in educational institutions. The historically significant heart pine and heart cypress lend themselves well to the mission of education. Goodwin’s wood offers private schools, colleges and universities a fresh, modern look and warm, welcoming environment for students to study, assemble, and socialize.
Let’s take a look at a few of our educational institution projects:
University of South Florida
Babcock Neighborhood School
Punta Gorda, Florida
Photo courtesy of the Daytona Beach News-Journal/Lola Gomez