Upping the Bar: San Antonio Courtroom Filled With Historical Wood | Wood Floor Business

Upping the Bar: San Antonio Courtroom Filled With Historical Wood

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Courtesy Manny Gaxiola and WoodCo SupplyCourtesy Manny Gaxiola and WoodCo Supply

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The longleaf pine flooring inside the San Antonio, Texas, Bexar County Courthouse's Double Height Courtroom, built in 1891, is older than the building itself, by more than 20 years, in fact. But what makes it more noteworthy is where it was sourced. After local wood flooring company Advanced Wood Floors already had its bid accepted to restore the Double Height floor, owner Bob Wexler heard some news—a former cornerstone of the downtown San Antonio community was being gutted. The original Joske's, an enormous department store built in 1867 that provided jobs to generations of San Antonians, had longleaf structural beams inside, perfect for salvaging. Wexler wanted them for the Double Height as an homage to history. The beams were milled into 3¼-inch-wide, 20-foot-long quartersawn flooring and, at that length, had to be machine-lifted through the hole in the middle of a stairwell to reach the Double Height on the second and third floors. The reclaimed longleaf had a ton of character—so much that the county asked Advanced to hide the more rugged boards underneath the courtroom seating. The cleaner boards were installed in front of the courtroom bench. Working for the county government was slow, Wexler says. Project manager Manny Gaxiola, after making many trips through courthouse security, began to blend in with courtroom regulars. "It got to the point where people thought I was a lawyer," Gaxiola says. How fitting since, considering the high praise from local media, Gaxiola and the Advanced crew sure won this trial.

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