Monday, March 20, 2017

What's inside the historic buildings of Nashville, Tennessee?

A recent trip to Nashville uncovered several historic buildings full of beautiful, virgin growth pine beams, pine and oak flooring and intriguing backstories. Here is a sneak peak at some of these amazing storefronts and warehouses all from the late 1800's, the backbone of historic Nashville! First stop was the Acme Feed & Seed, now a restaurant. This historic building on the infamous Broadway street is filled with original windows, beams and flooring!

Photo from National Trust for Historic Preservation

The building was built in 1890 and opened its doors as a grocery store that same year. It housed several companies in the next 120 years from a grocery store to a baking soda company to a flour company. It was a state of the art building for its time. It even included an elevator to get buggies to the 3rd floor to drop off shipments. It wasn't until 1943 that it became Acme Feed & Seed, the name it still holds. The Turner family, the original founders of the feed and seed store, still own the building.

In 2013, a local businessman leased the building and turned the 4 story, 22,000 sq ft building into a restaurant, bar and music venue. Keeping the authenticity of the historic building materials, the venue is filled with exposed pine beams and original oak flooring. It took a whopping $6.5 million to historically restore the building to its current condition. 

Photo from Preservation Magazine copyright Joe Buglewicz.

Next stop on the tour was the old Marathon Automobile factory building. Stay tuned for our next blog where we take a look at the old equipment of the automobile factory and a peek inside the storefront from the hit show American Pickers. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Reclaimed Wood History: A journey back to Louisiana

Every piece of reclaimed wood has a story to tell. We recently discovered the intriguing history of reclaimed beams pulled from the heart of the blues. Unbeknownst to our purchasing team the history of the reclaimed beams continues! When the shipment of heart pine beams came to the Albany Woodworks facility, a fun discovery was made! Marked on one of the beams was the inscription "Natalbany LLYP Denkmann". After some research, it was discovered that this beam was manufactured by the Natalbany Lumber Company. Albany Woodworks resides in Albany, LA, a mere 7 miles from Natalbany, LA where the Natalbany Sawmill stood.

The Natalbany Lumber Company was founded  as a joint project of the Denkmann and the infamous Weyerhaeuser families in 1901. The Weyerhaeuser-Denkmann Lumber Company was started in the 1860s. Denkmann was renowned for his hardworking attitude. It is said that he nearly drowned in the Mississippi River trying to rescue logs and often was seen with slings on his arms still determined to work a full day. Before his death in 1905, Denkmann started the Natalbany Lumber Company. The head offices for the sawmill were located in Hammond, Louisiana (pictured below).

Photo from the book Hammond byEric W. Johnson and Catherine H. Tijerino
The beams were most likely purchased during a boom in Greenwood, Mississippi. Greenwood experienced a resurgence in prosperity when the railroad was built in the 1880's. There, they served as support beams for a building for the next 100 years until the building was demolished in 2016.

It may seem almost fateful that the beams found its way home back to Louisiana. From here, it will be milled into reclaimed heart pine flooring. From the forests of Louisiana to the famous hometown of Blues Legends and Morgan Freeman and back to its origin, it will continue on sharing its beauty, story and life.