A Night at the Museum

Images and museum information courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times and Rudy Ciccarello.

Having been in the timber industry for a number of years, Kent McPherson and Charlie Peterson were both in the pursuit of a perfect product. After searching for a grade of wood that doesn’t exist, they decided to take matters into their own hands, hence the establishment of Quarter-Sawn Flooring, a sawmill and manufacturer located in Nashville, Indiana.

Home to many veneer manufacturers, Indiana was the place to be. “The type of log we use is generally not used in the wood flooring industry,” shares Peterson. “It is used in the veneer industry. The ones we use are even above furniture grade.”

Not only does Quarter-Sawn Flooring use a log and grade unique to the wood flooring industry, but its milling process also follows suit. “The normal way to produce quarter-sawn material would be to cut the log in half, and then quarters, and saw the boards within the quarters at a 60° – 90° angle,” says Peterson. “The way we saw ours is by radial quarter-sawing, meaning that we turn the log to only cut on an 80° – 90° angle. This ensures that each piece of flooring is as stable, durable, and tight as possible.”

The one-of-a-kind flooring that Quarter-Sawn Flooring prides itself on being able to produce is exactly the reason why they were chosen to manufacture the floors for the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2019, the museum is the first of its kind in the world and expects to attract more than 150,000 visitors each year.

This $90 million museum, being built by Rudy Ciccarello, will house Ciccarello’s extensive collection of furniture, pottery, tile, metalwork, lighting, photography, and other decorative arts from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Albert Alfonso, the Tampa architect working on this project, described the museum as “a project of epic proportions,” and noted that Ciccarello’s commitment to excellence is evident in the quality of the building and materials used for the museum.

During Alfonso’s search for the perfect floors for the museum, he was led to Quarter-Sawn Flooring. Quarter-Sawn is supplying 60,000 square feet of highly figured, radial quarter-sawn, 6’ wide, northern white oak flooring, as well as the material for the stairs in the museum.

“Our process produces the most ray fleck possible from any log, creating a look that is reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts Movement,” adds Peterson. “We’re looking forward to seeing this project completed; it’s going to be unique.”

In addition to the white oak being supplied by Quarter-Sawn Flooring, there is also a section of the museum that will use 600 square feet of River-Recovered Heart Pine Select, manufactured by Goodwin Heart Pine Company in Micanopy, Florida.

This flooring will be installed in a section of the museum that will house a bungalow from California, circa 1910. “The flooring in this area needed to be specific so that it fit well with the 1910 era,” adds Ciccarello. In his search for the right floors, McPherson and Peterson led Ciccarello to Goodwin, saying there was no better heart pine than Goodwin’s River-Recovered.

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