Factory Floor Maple Gets a New Life in Long Island Home

Dotted along the east coast are fragments of old industrial revolution era buildings.  Driving on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, you’ll notice the newly refurbished industrial apartments.  Located between exits 147 and 148, this building has a long standing history in the township.  This industrial fixture’s deep roots in the Bloomfield, NJ community go back more than 100 years to its original construction in the late 19th century.

Built in 1897 by General Electric, the warehouse was an optimal space for modern day living accommodations.  The newly converted industrial space houses 361 loft-style units, stands six floors high, and sports 13-17 foot ceilings, keeping the original industrial elements true to style.  The lofts boast spectacular New York City views, with easy access to Manhattan, including beautiful Watchung Mountain views to the east, to boot.

The Parkway Lofts building is an exemplary show of the power of reclamation.  Saved from demolition, the Prism Capital Partners LLC. salvaged the industrial warehouse and took on an ambitious renovation project. Like the building itself was saved, so too were the 100 plus year old factory floor maple boards, and sleeper boards from the original construction.  When we heard of the abundance of historically rich maple and hemlock looking for a new home, we had to grab it.

The former General Electric Building, located just up the road from our mill, was filled with original flooring aged to perfection.  Deep grooves, marks, and dents showcase the years of hard work and beautifully display a quality not seen in new wood.

The materials we salvaged from the original building in our neck of the woods pays homage to the rich history of our area and the people who built it.  The east coast’s remnants of 18th and 19th century factories built during the height of the country’s largest industrial revolution are a representation of a time when goods were built to last.  We’re doing our best to share to show the best depiction of these materials from our part of the world that have proven reliable and sturdy over time.

Real Antique Wood owner Gary Horvath jumped on the opportunity to have part of this history in his Irvington mill.  In what became somewhat of a bidding craze, his determination proved successful.  “It was one of the largest demolition projects for Jovin Demolition, and when I heard about the materials, I put a bid in right away.”

Together, with Jovin Demolition of Paterson, NJ, 30 dumpster sized loads of 30 yd. reclaimed hemlock and factory floor maple were delivered to the mill.  “Nearly two years later, we’ve just about gone through it all,” said Gary. The one-time factory floors now have a new life in multiple homes throughout the tri-state area.

The project below highlights just one of the many new uses the former factory flooring now has. This maple creates a warm, cozy feeling in the den of this Long Island home.  Our client Phil and his wife visited our showroom looking for reclaimed wood to redo a space in their home.  Not knowing exactly what they were going for, Lisa introduced them to the rugged look of reclaimed factory flooring.  The mixed colors and patterns of each individual board lends a unique quality to the wood.  To know that the wood appears as it does because of its history as flooring in a manufacturing facility from the late 1800s lends both historical context and a characteristic that new wood just can’t compete with.