Excerpt from “Retired Lumber Goes Back to Work”

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Excerpt from “Retired Lumber Goes Back to Work”
by Peter Sinton, San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 1999

You don’t have to go to virgin forests to find old-growth timber. You can find it at the Port of Oakland, abandoned airfields in San Francisco’s Presidio and old warehouses in Fremont. Architects, interior designers and homeowners are discovering the beauty, environmental cachet and increasing availability of “reclaimed” wood.

There’s even a new word in building circles to describe the phenomenon: deconstruction.

Black’s Farmwood – Michael Black, who grew up on a tobacco farm in Ohio and worked as a carpenter in Marin last summer, started this company in San Rafael in January (’99). He got the idea after his grandmother told him she planned to burn down her long-abandoned 150-year-old barn.

Black salvaged the beautifully weathered white oak siding (which sells at EcoTimber for $4.50 a foot). He also took apart six other barns in Ohio with a crowbar, chain saw and truck. He has since hired a supplier in the East and is expanding in the West.