What is more satisfying than wood you mined? Stay with me on this one.
Change abounds thanks to DMC. Haven't heard of DMC? Well it is like the seminal hip hop trio, if Run DMC had created a tax increment funding proposal adopted by the Minnesota state legislature (i.e. Jam Master Plan).
And with all this change, a lot of old buildings are being purchased and demolished. It is a shame for some structures, while others have outlived their useful life and need to pave the way for progress. But a little known fact about buildings, is that they contain something we call "embodied energy." This is the energy that was expended to create and construct those buildings. For instance, the wood had to be harvested from a forest, cut into dimensional lumber, hauled to the site, and nailed into place. All of those processes take energy. So when you demolish a building, not only are you adding all of that material to a landfill, but you are also dispensing with the embodied energy as well.
So it may seem like small potatoes, but we try to reuse and salvage building materials whenever we can. It isn't necessarily easier, but sometimes it can have a financial benefit. However, for us it is about being good stewards of our environment. Part of our triple bottom line approach to business.
In the soon to be rubble where a new 22-story tower will sit for generations, there lies a row of 2-story "main street" style structures. They used to house Ginny's Fine Fabrics, Jakobson Management Company, and CJs Bar. Now they remain carcasses of their former life, laying in wait for the impending raze.
Thanks to the current property owners we had a chance to walk through the buildings and see if there were any items worth salvaging prior to demolition. Most of the buildings had been picked through and besides some gorgeous antique baking equipment (replete with giant mummified sugar sacks) there wasn't much left of any value. But we did discover the original maple hardwood flooring still existed on the 2nd Floor of the above pictured building. As you know, we have already tried once before to reuse hardwood flooring in a new application and this gave us another idea.
In its new home, the material remains in amazing condition, adds a ton of character, and preserves the embodied energy it took to create it. Keep an eye out for the reuse of this flooring when Grand Rounds Brewpub opens its doors this spring. It is only a tiny speck on the DMC landscape, but it sure means a lot to the narrative of this special place.