The Oak Floors of Greenbank

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Reclaimed Flooring from John Deere
Plant in Eddie Bauer’s Oak Park Store

“Reclaimed Flooring for Eddie Bauer’s Oak Park Store”

We’ve sold and installed antique and reclaimed wood flooring for over 30 years. When the Eddie Bauer Company began a major expansion some years ago they approached us to help them develop prototypes for wood flooring in their new stores. They were hoping to create for an old style wilderness outfitter concept in their “home store” settings. They wanted wood floors that looked like those of a turn of the 19th Century outfitter. I suggested one of our antique reclaimed flooring products. The one that seemed most fitting was one where we preserved the actual antique face when re-sawing old wooden beams. The face was cleaned as much as possible with minimal disturbance to the old saw marks, aged color and antique patina.

We still sell this product today only now we have it available in Long Leaf Heart Pine (like we sold to Eddie Bauer for many of their stores) and in Oak. Occasionally we have supplies in Hickory, Maple, Chestnut, Teak, Rosewood and several other species but supplies vary significantly.

Eddie Bauer was constructing a beautiful big store in the suburbs of Chicago in an fairly exclusive area known as Oak Park. They were planning a substantial home store within the complex and were looking for something special. I recommended our “Old Mission” antique faced long leaf heart pine flooring product and was able to secure it from a salvaged John Deere factory building that had been located in Moline, Illinois, the John Deere factory headquarters. Apparently at one time, many of the people of Chicago and John Deere were like mother and apple pie. So having flooring from the old John Deere plant at the Eddie Bauer store in Chicago was a stroke of shear genius. It helped provide a “local” feel for an out-of-town merchant.

I suggested laser burning the Eddie Bauer logo on to the backs of small scraps of flooring with an abbreviated history of the John Deer plant etched or typed on to recycled paper attached. Instead of grand opening gifts, Bauer sold the scraps as souvenirs and sold out everything they could get from us within the first few weeks.

The floor of course was and continues to be a great hit at the store in addition to serving as an excellent working display space for customers and clerks alike. All in all it proving to be a real success story for everyone involved.

~Don Bollinger

2006 The Oak Floors of Greenbank, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.  photos by Roger Turk
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