This Just In: Indiana Mill from 1901

  Vintage Image of the Noblesville Milling Co. grain storage facility (date unknown).

Vintage Image of the Noblesville Milling Co. grain storage facility (date unknown).

  The mill, 2016.

The mill, 2016.

  The mill, 2016.

The mill, 2016.

an icon of the American Heartland

This week, The Hudson Company has been on the road - visiting the sites of several historic, decommissioned Midwestern agrarian structures, in search of high-quality, high-character American timber to reclaim. One of the most interesting finds this week has been 'The Model Mill' and grain elevator in Noblesville, Indiana (pictured above and below).

Built in 1901, the mill was an essential part of the economy in Hamilton County and, for over a century, the iconic structure has been both a physical and symbolic icon for Noblesville and the surrounding farming communities. The mill was originally built to hold 350,000 bushels of wheat, but the area's wheat yields were so plentiful that, by 1911, the facility was expanded to hold a capacity of 700,000 bushels. According to David Heighway, of The Hamilton County Business Magazine, the mill was built in a a style of construction called, "cribbing [wherein] boards are [simply] stacked and nailed together." A 1914 article in The Indianapolis Star took note of the Noblesville mill and elevators, remarking that, "These structures tower above the other buildings of the town and are admired by everyone passing through the city.”

700,000 Board Feet of Reclaimed Heart Pine

After changing ownership several times in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, The Model Mill was eventually decommissioned and has sat abandoned for many years. In 2015, local officials decided that the historic mill and grain elevators would finally be taken down. 

Luckily, much of the mill's original construction material has been well-preserved and will be now be diverted from the waste stream and reclaimed by The Hudson Company. From Noblesville, the 700,000 board feet of Reclaimed Heart Pine will be transported to The Hudson Company Mill in Pine Plains, NY were it will be re-milled and added to our growing inventory of reclaimed wood flooring, paneling, beams and joists. 

The end result of this reclamation process will be 700,000 board feet of custom re-milled Reclaimed Heart Pine [New Face, Chalk Finish] flooring, like the flooring milled for and installed at New York's new Whitney Museum of Modern Art (completed in 2015). 

Click here to learn more about (or to schedule a visit to) The Hudson Company's FSC-Certified lumber mill in Pine Plains, New York.

  Pristine American Heart Pine, reclaimed from Noblesville grain facility.

Pristine American Heart Pine, reclaimed from Noblesville grain facility.

  On the road in the American Heartland.

On the road in the American Heartland.

This Just In: Reclaimed Heart Pine from the Iconic Belleview-Biltmore Hotel

  An undated postcard of The Belleview-Biltmore Resort and Spa. The Hotel's original, iconic red roof was later replaced with green roofing.

An undated postcard of The Belleview-Biltmore Resort and Spa. The Hotel's original, iconic red roof was later replaced with green roofing.

  Built by railroad magnate Henry Plant in 1897, this photo shows the hotel during it's early years.

Built by railroad magnate Henry Plant in 1897, this photo shows the hotel during it's early years.

  Aerial view of the Belleview-Biltmore taken after it was closed in 2009.

Aerial view of the Belleview-Biltmore taken after it was closed in 2009.

  Details of The Bellevue-Biltmore Hotel in disrepair.

Details of The Bellevue-Biltmore Hotel in disrepair.

  Recent view of hotel's dilapidated exterior.
  Abandoned hotel lobby, 

Abandoned hotel lobby, 

  Abandoned hotel interior.

Abandoned hotel interior.

 

The Rise and Fall of "The White Queen of The Gulf"

Once known as 'The White Queen of the Gulf,' the historic Belleview-Biltmore Resort and Spa was, for over 100 years, one of Florida's most celebrated vacation destinations - an iconic symbol of the golden age of American entrepreneurship, travel, and optimism. 

Built in 1897 by railroad giant Henry Bradley Plant, the Belleview-Biltmore was a massive feat of resort architecture, crafted in a Queen Anne and Shingle style. Constructed of native Florida pine, the hotel also featured hand-crafted Tiffany Glass. Eager to increase Florida's tourism and railroad use, the Bellevue-Biltmore was, 'often billed as the largest occupied wooden structure in the world.' Mr. Plant even had special rail service to deliver guests directly to the Belleview's front doors (see above, the image second from the top). In 1979, the hotel was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

According to a 2015 profile on the last days of the hotel by The Tampa Bay Times, the Belleview-Biltmore hosted a wide range of impressive celebrities and dignitaries over the past eleven decades, including "Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford...Margaret Thatcher and Barack Obama." In April of 1976, Bob Dylan and his band played two concerts inside the hotel's Starlight Ballroom.

But, despite visits by numerous notables, in the decades after WWII, this grand old resort faded significantly - due in large part to the construction of countless newer, beachfront resorts up and down both of Florida's coasts. In recent years, and after a lengthy debate between preservationists, local officials, and developers, it was decided that the majority of the crumbling hotel would be demolished to make way for new condominiums and townhouses.

Luckily, 36,000 square feet of the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel is being saved. A portion of Mr. Plant's original 1897 hotel is being relocated locally, and renovated into a boutique hotel. The 'new Belleview-Biltmore' will feature a restored 21st-century version of the hotel's original lobby, grand living spaces, 33 guest rooms, and ice-cream parlour. You can watch a video of the project's developer Mike Cheezem walking through the vision for this restored portion of the hotel here.

CAREFULLY RECLAIMING 100-YEAR-OLD HEART PINE FLOORING, JOISTS, AND BEAMS - PIECE BY PIECE

Meanwhile, the demolition of the 820,000 square feet portion of the hotel's structure is being done with precision, piece by piece, "taking the time to salvage 118-year-old heart pine floors, stained glass skylights and wrought iron stairway railings."

Currently, The Hudson Company is taking part in the enormous and careful demolition of this historic architectural treasure. Rather than being added to the waste stream, The Hudson Company is redirecting the Biltmore's still valuable and sustainable wood architectural materials to our mill in Pine Plains, NY. Once reclaimed, this inventory of high-character, high-quality, century-old wood will be custom milled into elements for new construction and design projects. 

Below you can see photos of the process of reclaiming tens of thousands of board feet of century-old heart pine floors, paneling, beams, columns, and other wooden elements. 

Stay tuned to www.thehudsonco.com.news for more updates on this reclamation preoject and about Reclaimed Heart Pine.

Click here to learn more about The Hudson Company's Reclamation Process.

 

  The Belleview-Biltmore during deconstruction, 2015 -2016.

The Belleview-Biltmore during deconstruction, 2015 -2016.

  Beautiful, 100-year-old  'Dade' Heart Pine, reclaimed from The Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, Florida.

Beautiful, 100-year-old  'Dade' Heart Pine, reclaimed from The Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, Florida.