Salvage Timbers and Beams
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Preserving the Waite Grass Rug Co, ca. 1912
In 2017, the Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Waite Grass Carpet Co building, ca. 1912, Oshkosh (WI) on the state Register of Historic Places.
Vacant and run down, this historic building is now being transformed into affordable housing to meet the needs of Oshkosh’s low and moderate income residents. Located in the vicinity of Mount Vernon Street and Custer Avenue, the property is under renovation by the Oshkosh Housing Authority and will be known as the Waite Rug Place, providing 56 one and two-bedroom affordable rental housing units. The redevelopment of the two remaining Waite buildings will also feature a two-shift day care center on the north side of the property.
Working with McGann Construction of Madison, we salvaged all original timbers and beams that were removed for the reconstruction. Over 12,000 board feet of virgin growth hemlock, doug fir and red pine, ranging in dimensions of 2 x 6 to 12 x 12, up to 22 feet long were transported from the job site to the yard.
This material is available for purchase, and can be sawn to any dimension for flooring, stair treads, wall and ceiling cladding, etc. Don't hesitate to call to discuss your project, and help preserve the history of this one-of-a-kind material.
A Brief History of the Waite Grass Carpet Co.: Waite Grass Carpet Co., one of several factories in Oshkosh producing rugs composed of wire grass (a wild marsh plant) grown near the Oshkosh area and spun into a passable twine. At one point in time Oshkosh produced more grass rugs than any other city in the world and gave the city a reputation of being a textile city as well as a lumber city. The company produced rugs for more than 50 years, although the company added rugs made with wooden fiber and other materials in later years to keep up changing trends and demands, with summer rugs being a popular seller throughout the country. The founder, Frederick Waite, had patented a process of weaving cotton fiber and the wire grass together. The company was nationally known for its contemporary designs and quality of the manufactured products, and had one of its rugs featured at the New York World’s Fair in the Federal Building.