2015 Restoration Celebration Honors Versatile

A restoration celebration honoring versatile client’s achievements. Everyone seated at Restoration Celebration

We were honored to have the opportunity to join the architecture and restoration community in celebrating Oregon’s achievements in restoration. This was held at Restore Oregon’s Restoration Celebration in November. We were also very excited to watch as several of our clients were honored with DeMuro Awards this year!

The Restoration Celebration serves a dual purpose.

It is the event that both announces the year’s Endangered Places list and celebrates the winners of the DeMuro Award. The Endangered Places List spotlights properties of historic significance in Oregon that are in danger of collapse or destruction. Nomination to the list provides a property with resources and grant opportunities to help stabilize and restore the property.

The DeMuro Awards are named for legendary Portland preservationist and developer Art DeMuro. DeMuro is a competitive award honoring the architecture and construction teams who tackle significant projects in rehabilitating Oregon’s historic structures.

Paul Falsetto wins DeMuro Award Blockhouse Cafe

Celebrating the awards and sharing our success

We were delighted to celebrate our dear friend and colleague Paul Falsetto. Paul received a DeMuro Award for his rehabilitation of the Dayton Blockhouse Cafe. Paul worked with our custom cabinetry team to develop a walnut back bar for that project. Along with a bar and table tops made out of reclaimed fir from the building’s floor joists

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We were also thrilled to celebrate the honoring of Venerable Properties for their Washington High School rehabilitation project.

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That project featured new sash built by Versatile that exactly replicated the building’s original double hung windows. They were lost when an ill-guided renovation replaced them all with aluminum.

 

Richard and Alex Restoration Celebration

Our owner, Richard De Wolf, who is a member of the Restore Oregon board of directors. Alex Mackenzie, our chief sales person and expert resource for our clients. Enjoying the opportunity to connect with clients and colleagues who are helping move this important work forward in Oregon.

Richard Speaking at Restoration Celebration

Richard had the opportunity to give a brief speech at the event. He highlighted our own efforts to save some of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places.

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We have been able to directly contribute to the rescue and rehabilitation of at least one Endangered Place a year for the last 5 years. These range from the Pioneer Mother’s Cabin (above), which was on the verge of falling into the Willamette. To the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland, whose historic bell tower tracery was beginning to crumble.

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It was a beautiful event. We look forward to seeing which Endangered Place we can help knock off the list next year!

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Block House Café — Custom Case Study

 block house cafe

In the heart of historic Dayton Oregon, The Block House Café recently moved into the 1886 First Baptist Church on Main Street. Working alongside architect Paul Falsetto and Fackler Construction, Versatile created a large back bar with surrounding cabinetry, wait-station, and tabletops from old floor joists in the building.

Block House Café Goals:

To create a large, functional, and aesthetically pleasing back bar that hides the seismic bracing. Re-purpose original floor joists to create tabletops and a bar top.

 Block House Café

Block House Café Challenges:

The biggest challenge we faced with the back bar, which included 10’ high walnut pieces, was installation to conceal three alcoves that were created by updated seismic structuring. The tabletops and bar top proposed a few challenges. They were created from wood salvaged from the original floor joists from the building. We were concerned about the tabletops cupping or warping. We needed to create a flat, smooth surface on the bar top as there were many wormholes in the wood.

The Block House Café

Block House Café Uniquely Versatile Solutions:

We worked around installation problems of the bar by pre-building it in 3 separate pieces. Along with some tolerances to allow for variations in the walls when it was installed on site. The three pieces overlapped once installed to look like one piece of furniture while hiding the bracing behind.

To address the tabletops potentially warping, we added a dovetail key underneath to tie the planks together. By attaching the key to the middle plank only, the planks could expand and contract naturally, but not warp or cup. And finally, to create a smooth, flat surface on the bar top. The wormholes were filled with clear epoxy rather than a colored putty. Since the natural color of fir changes over time, the clear epoxy will make a smooth surface without worry that the wood color would ultimately shift away from the color of the putty. Versatile’s experience and expertise allowed us to anticipate potential issues and create solutions before they became real problems on site.

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