John Stern of Louisville, Ky.-based Louisville Wood Floors knows a lot of White House history, in part because he and his company are a part of it. It started back in 1978 when Stern, who then operated Kentucky Wood Floors, won a bid for a floor replacement in the East Room of the White House. “Apparently the White House liked our quality and service, as well, because thereafter they didn’t put White House wood flooring out for bid but just came to us,” Stern says. Stern was later tapped to supply the now-iconic wood flooring in the Oval Office. His relationships with presidents also went beyond Pennsylvania Avenue. The 5/16-inch Mayan cherry fingerblock parquet, for instance, graced Jimmy Carter’s office in the Richard B. Russell building in Atlanta after Carter left the presidency in 1981. And just as presidents seem to keep Stern’s phone number after their time in office, Stern has taken to keeping mementos from his presidential projects, including boards from each project encased in Lucite that he displays in his own office. “Our employees didn’t get asked to provide flooring for the White House every day,” he says.
Flooring For Presidents and Ex-Presidents Alike
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