Revisiting The Charnley-Norwood House

 

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast.  A great number of historic homes were among its many victims.  In Ocean Springs, Mississippi, two such notable landmarks were the Louis Sullivan and James Charnley cottages.  Charnley was a Chicago based businessman and lumber baron who owned and timbered large tracts of Mississippi longleaf pine.  Sullivan was a renowned Chicago architect and father of the modern skyscraper. He and Sullivan were good friends.  The baron commissioned the architect to design and build him a vacation home on the Gulf where he could escape the rigors and the winters of the Windy City.  On the adjacent property, Sullivan fashioned his own vacation cottage, a slightly smaller version of the Charnley retreat.

Helping to design and build these gulf side treasures in 1890 was Sullivan’s apprentice, Frank Lloyd Wright.  Actually, great controversy has revolved around exactly which architect played the greatest role in the design.  The two cottages looked nothing like the highly decorative and largely vertical Victorians and Queen Annes so popular in that day.  Instead, the cottages were quite simple and reached out across the landscape in a horizontal fashion that suggest a precursor to Wright’s later Prairie style.  They were considered to be two of the earliest examples of American modern residential architecture.

 

Katrina showed little mercy.  The storm battered the two homes relentlessly.  When the tempest had passed, the Sullivan cottage was completely gone.  Many have speculated that it was hit by a tornado.  Charnley was badly beaten and sat straddling what was left of its foundation.

Enter the very determined Historic Preservation Division of the Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History (MDAH). The division organized volunteers to salvage literally thousands of pieces of the home immediately after the storm and persuaded the property owners not to let FEMA bulldoze the house.  Further, the MDAH raised the grant funds that permitted the hiring of fine restoration professionals John G. Waites Associates Architects, Larry Albert & Associates Architects, and J.O. Collins Contractor to undertake the restoration.  Finally, the department assisted the Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources in acquiring the Charnley-Norwood property as a key component of the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area.

General contractor, J.O. Collins, began putting the survivor back together and architect, Larry Albert, spec-ed Goodwin to provide the flooring and the curly heart pine paneling on the walls.  The Goodwin company milled 800sf of curly heart pine to adorn the walls and another 1000sf of 3-1/4” LEGACY (building reclaimed) VERTICAL heart pine to replace the floor.  The resulting restoration is over the top and today, Charnley once again stands overlooking the Gulf of Mexico; a shining example of accurately and lovingly finished historic restoration.

 

Photo curtesy of the Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History.

Revisiting Hurricane Katrina Damaged Beauvoir

 

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.

 

Lakeview Condos Revisited

 

The Lakeview Condos in historic St. Augustine Florida date back to the late 1800s.  The Lakeview building was constructed between 1885-1893 by the firm of McGuire and McDonald, famously known for constructing the Ponce De Leon Hotel.  Both structures were built by Standard Oil tycoon, Henry Flagler; the Ponce as a luxury hotel and the Lakeview building as the male staff quarters for the hotel.  Originally, the Lakeview building was referred to as the “Ponce De Leon barracks.”

 

Fast forward to 2004 when the building was purchased and developed into luxury condominiums. The Lakeview Condos sit on the edge of Lake Maria Sanchez in a prime area of town just blocks off the heart of the old city.

 

October 2016 brought powerful hurricane Matthew to the area, which flooded the historic district of America’s oldest city as it passed at high tide.  Sadly, the Lakeview building took on five inches of water from Lake Sanchez.  Goodwin worked closely with the owner’s association to replace the original heart pine flooring.  Most units were restored using River-Recovered Heart Pine Character or Antique Longleaf pine.  Much of the replacement heart pine was either 2-1/2″ or 3-1/4″.

 

As fate would have it 2017 saw hurricane Irma blow through most of the entire peninsula of Florida and once again the Lakeview building had an unwanted visit by Lake Maria Sanchez.  Goodwin replaced the heart pine floor for a second time.  The 800-1000sf units are now light and airy living spaces with wonderful architectural transoms over the doors and arched passageway. Goodwin is always most pleased when we can be a part of historic restorations.

 

See more of our completed projects!

Watch our latest videos.

Historic Preservation Month: Gainesville, FL Firestone Building and Matheson Museum Revisited

This week for Historic Preservation Month we revisit two restoration projects that have been honored by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation (FTHP). In 2015 the Gainesville, FL Firestone building was recognized by the FTHP, receiving an Honorable Mention for Adaptive Reuse. In 2018 the Gainesville, FL Matheson History Museum Library & Archives was recognized by the FTHP, receiving Meritorious Achievement for Adaptive Use.

 

Learn more about the Goodwin Company’s historic preservation projects here.

 

Be sure to follow the Florida Trust For Historic Preservation’s Facebook page for other historic preservation month information!

Celebrate Historic Preservation Month This May

It’s almost May and May is designated as historic preservation month. Here at the Goodwin company we get pretty excited about that. For 45 years we’ve been the millers of fine River Recovered® and building reclaimed antique Heart Pine and Heart Cypress. Preservationists and historic preservation architects often specify our products for their many projects. Join us in the month of May for a short series of videos that celebrates and highlights the many historic preservation projects that the Goodwin Company has been a part of over the years. Happy May!

 

Learn more about the Goodwin Company’s historic preservation projects here.

 

Be sure to follow the Florida Trust For Historic Preservation’s Facebook page for other historic preservation month information!

Vineland Point Shake Shack Cypress

 

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.

 

Vineland Point Shake Shack Cypress

 

Find cypress that fits your project or that matches Vineland Point Shake Shack Cypress here!

2021 Residential Architect Design Award Winner

River-Recovered® Heart Pine Vertical PA Home

Congratulations to Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects and project architect Nicholas Snyder on their recent award. Their Light Path project was selected as an Honor winner in the 2021 Residential Architect Design Awards, New Approaches to Housing and Specialty Homes: Co-Living category. This Waverly, PA home features a 3-1/4” vertical heart pine engineered floor from the Goodwin Company. This award was awarded by Architect Magazine. It is the official Journal of the American Institute of Architects.

See more photos of this project

Read more about this year’s award winners 

Other Goodwin Company featured projects.

Curly Heart Pine Experts

The Goodwin Company are Curly Heart Pine Experts

Curly Heart Pine Experts. Often the Goodwin Company is called on for our wood identification expertise. At the end of October, Judi H. reached out to us about identifying the wood on this beautifully crafted desk. Judi said, “I’m reaching out to you as the only people I can find who seem to know what curly heart pine looks like… Not even the specialty lumber yards up here know what it is.” She was told by the previous owner that this was burly quilted maple. We were able to confirm to Judi that this was indeed a Curly Heart Pine desk.

One of the first things we ask potential clients is for them to send us a photo of their existing wood. In these photos, we look for grain patterns, width, length, color, et cetera. We have used this process for countless projects in order to seamlessly match existing wood or to keep the original design intact. We are curly heart pine experts and experts in heart pine and heart cypress identification. Give us a call today or better yet send us a photo for help with your antique wood identification needs.

The Goodwin Company are Curly Heart Pine ExpertsThe Goodwin Company are Curly Heart Pine Experts

More on Curly Heart Pine

Learn More About the Goodwin Company and Antique Wood Here

Happy National Forest Products Week!

Doe Near River-Recovered Logs

 

Happy National Forest Products Week! Since 1960 the third week of October has been designated as National Forest Products Week (NFPW). The modern celebration has stayed true to the initial proclamation and has added the environmental needs of keeping our forests healthy for future generations.

“Whereas the bounty of our forest and timber lands provides our people with a source of strength and pride; and
Whereas as a major renewable resource, supported by the science of modern forestry, wood offers the availability and abundance to satisfy the Nation’s ever growing needs for many products—lumber, paper, building materials, chemicals, furniture, and cloth—all dedicated to improving the lives of our people…” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, Proclamation 3371

The Longleaf Pine forest is the prime example of why both views of the NFPW are important. The remnant of this once vast forest shows the importance of sustainably harvesting our natural resources. Being over-harvested in the 19th and 20th century we are lucky that these logs have survived to be used today. Had they rotted this resource would be limited at best today. To the original proclamation Heart Pine is an outstanding resource we have available to use. We should take pride in our forests and their abilities to provide for us and work together to ensure their health and availably for years to come.

 

https://heartpine.com/goodwins-environmental-mission/

https://www.fs.usda.gov/science-technology/forest-products-week

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/proclamation-3371-national-forest-products-week-1960

Quick Tips To Consider When Developing Building Design Specifications

Wood Floors

 

Here are some of our quick tips to consider when developing building design specification.

 

Condos and Vacation Homes

Condominiums and vacation homes are often not occupied for several months during the year. If the HVAC is left off during the summer, humidity can build up and get in between the boards to the underside and cause the floor to cup. Of course, to solve the problem, you must understand the problem. This issue can be prevented by back sealing the boards with inexpensive polyurethane before installation. If you expect the interior conditions to not be controlled year round, this balances both sides of the wood to avoid cupping.

 

Wide Board and Large Rooms

When working with wide boards or large rooms, consider starting the installation in the middle of the room. Nail toward both walls with spline glued into the grooves of the middle boards. The tongue side should be held down with sufficient fasteners, so most of the movement occurs on the groove side. This technique essentially cuts your shrink/swell in half.

 

Installation Over Concrete

When installing either solid or glued engineered wood over concrete on grade, we always recommend sealing the concrete. A well-made engineered wood with a water resistant plywood backer and high­
quality glue can even survive a leak. It will generally dry out and will usually be fine if you get the water off relatively quickly, but it will not be able to dry if the concrete is not sealed.

 

Acclimation and Moisture

Every wood floor professional should own a moisture meter. Use the kind with pins that measure electrical resistance and orient the pins with the grain, as that is how the meters are calibrated. Meters that sit on top of wood measure specific gravity and do not work well on dense reclaimed wood. This step is the most important specification to make sure that the wood and site are acclimated and installed at the expected long-term moisture content and living conditions.

 

Nails and Fasteners 

Be sure to use enough fasteners for a: nail down floor. Our recommended nail schedule is as follows:

 

Solid Wood:

• Every 6″ for a 3″ face
• Every4″for a S”‘ face
• Every 3″ for a 7″ face
• Every2″for a 9″face

 

And, no more than 1-1/2″ from end to avoid splits. Engineered Wood:

• Every 6• for a 3 face”
• Every 5″ for a 5 face”
• Every 4″ for a 7″ face”

 

Wider products require more nails to get close to the same average number of nails per square foot. You must consider more than just the expansion and contraction of the flooring. It is also very important to get the flooring to conform to the sub floor. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the quality of installation you want. The good installers we know use more nails than average.

 

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions!

 

Unquestionable Longevity of Goodwin Company Heart Pine and Heart Cypress Woods

Why Did Longleaf Once Dominate?

longleaf pine forest

 

Before the Europeans arrived in the New World, longleaf pine was the principal tree species found in extensive pure stands over at least 70 million acres and another 10 million acres in stands mixed with other pines and hardwoods. The reason longleaf dominated is that it, more than any other southern tree, has learned to live with fire. The original longleaf forest not only was able to survive the frequent fires started by lightning, it depended upon fire. It may actually have helped propel and sustain the fires that regularly burned it.

 

The longleaf has evolved marvelous physical adaptations to tolerate fire when young. Instead of growing upward right away as most saplings do, longleaf seedlings “sit” flat on the ground in what is termed the grass stage for periods of three to fifteen years. During this time the young tree grows a long, heavy taproot that helps it reach far down into the sandy soil toward moisture. When the young plant finally starts to grow tall, the stored food in the taproot helps it shoot rapidly upward. At the same time that it is racing skyward, the tree delays putting out branches, giving young saplings a distinctive bottlebrush appearance. The tree’s “jumping upward” is a strategy for surviving in an area of frequent fires. By growing rapidly upward in a single spurt, the young tree minimizes the amount of time its growing tip is vulnerable to destruction by fires. Otherwise, a young tree growing steadily year by year and putting out multiple branches would be vulnerable to ground fires for a far greater period.

 

This variety of adaptations that help longleaf pines resist death by fire, is eclipsed only by a fantastic secondary function of the needles. This supremely fire-resistant tree produces needles that have more volatile resins and oils than any other southern pine, rendering the dry needles extremely flammable.

Learn more about the history of Longleaf Pine

Milling Antique River-Recovered® Heart Pine at The Goodwin Company

Wood Floors Are A Great Choice for Your Beach House

Back to the Beach!

Yes, you can have wood floors in your beach house. You see, once the wood is properly installed and finished it takes on and gives off moisture slowly over time. It becomes a seasonal event. So it’s fine to open the doors at night and shut them and turn on the AC during the day.

The style, width, and expectations of your floor all affect your grade, installation, and finish choice. Do keep the beach sand off the floor with mats and rugs at the doors and a good dust mop as needed. Choose your floor finish with the maintenance you want to do, or not, in mind. Email or call the Goodwin Company for help on selecting the right finish for your floors.

A couple of the most important points for any wood floor installation are to:

  • Have the site at the proper moisture content and acclimate the wood to the same average moisture content as you expect on average year-round
  • Use enough fasteners for a nail-down application (it’s often more than you think; e.g., nail every 4” for a 7” wide floor) or use the quality elastomeric wood floor glue for a glue-down application. Of course, you’ll want to use proper wood floor vapor retarders for any installation method.

There is so much more to know including site-specific concerns. Two more problem prevention tips that we often find useful include:

  • Start the installation in the middle and nail toward one wall when installing wide wood. Glue a piece of spline in the groove of the board in the middle, then nail toward the other wall. Because each board is held down mostly on the tongue side with the nails, or flooring cleats, this technique cuts your shrink/swell in half.
  • If you have moisture intrusion concerns, or perhaps build-up of moisture in the building if it won’t be occupied part of the year, consider back sealing each board with inexpensive polyurethane. This seals both sides of the boards and balances their ability to take on and give off moisture reducing the potential for cupping.

Refer to Goodwin Company’s Manufacturer’s Guidelines, the National Wood Flooring Association specifications, and your flooring professional can guide you. Choose a professional with a good history who understands the local conditions. See our earlier blogs on how to choose a flooring professional.

Call if Goodwin Company can assist you in achieving a beautiful wood floor that lasts for the long-term for your beach home or office.

 

Beach houses with Goodwin Company wood floors:

Cedar Key

Key West

Making the Grade With Heart Pine and Heart Cypress

Wood Flooring

One of the Goodwin ‘differences’ is our effort to be transparent and straightforward about our grades and guarantees. For example, when others say, “We don’t give specific heart content percentages. It isn’t all that important,” Goodwin gives an exact percentage. River-Recovered® Heart Pine and Heart Cypress are guaranteed 100% heart. Our Legacy building reclaimed antique heart pine is guaranteed at least 95% in plainsawn and at least 98% in vertical. In fact, Legacy is virtually all heart with very little sapwood if any because of the way George Goodwin saws the antique beams.

When other companies refer to knots as ‘infrequent’ or ‘small’, Goodwin gives you an exact maximum size and is willing to guarantee a maximum number in a bundle. We count them! Goodwin follows the 1904 grading rules of no knots over 1-1/4” in our River-Recovered® grades and the 1924 grading rules, the last published for heart pine, of no knots over 1-1/2” for our Legacy building reclaimed antique heart pine.

Goodwin also guarantees an average growth ring minimum of 8 per inch for River-Recovered® and a 6 per inch for Legacy, again following the 1904 and 1924 standards. Our heart content is higher and we send fewer defects in all except our Character grades. Goodwin provides 2’ – 12’ or longer lengths than others who send 1’+ or 1-1/2’+. Most other competitors suggest a 10% waste allowance. Goodwin recommends only a 5% ‘cutting allowance’ for boards at the end of a row.

When Goodwin says heart pine, we mean longleaf pine that was at least 200 years old when it was cut. The book ‘Longleaf Pine’, 1946, states that even at 200 years old heart pine will still be only 2/3rds heartwood. There are reclaimed wood companies that call 90–120-year-old longleaf ‘heart pine’. Goodwin’s Heart Cypress was at least 500 years old when cut and generally twice that or more. According to the USDA Forest Service that is the true ‘old growth’ age.

We believe this information is worthwhile to our discerning clientele. We guarantee your satisfaction!

 

The Beauty within River-Recovered® Logs