Flagler Restoration

In the Flagler restoration, under the best of circumstances, the hundred year old hardwood floors of this structure would be faced with challenges. Considering the history of Whitehall, especially its 30-year life as a hotel and the climate of south Florida, these challenges were multiplied. The French parlor floor was the focus of our attention. Its maple herringbone design in the field was surrounded with a pattern design on the perimeter of the room, using maple, beech and mahogany. The room had significant buildup of finishes and widespread termite damage. All flooring was tongue and groove and the thickness and width was nonstandard. All replacement wood had to be milled on site, in the room.

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The Flagler Museum, or ‘Whitehall,’ was built by Henry Flagler in 1902 as a show place in Palm Beach to attract wealthy investors to the ‘American Riviera.’

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The 55,000 square foot mansion was the epicenter of Palm Beach society and host to the “A” list of contemporary American society.


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A hundred years later the wood floors at Whitehall were in dire need of restoration. Termites, excessive sanding and constant usage had all taken a toll.

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Passive Refinishing® was selected as the best way for old finishes to be removed without loss of additional wood surface.

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Passive Refinishing® uses environmentally responsible products to remove industrial grade coatings without the need for aggressive sanding. Once all coatings were carefully removed our skilled artisans were able to repair thousands of damaged pieces of wood flooring.

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The Music Room, with its artwork carefully removed, became our wood shop. Dust containment equipment was used to maintain a safe and clean environment.

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Badly damaged decorative borders were restored to their original look and prepared for finish applications.

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As finishes were applied, the original grandeur of the floors began to emerge.

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Today, the Music Room no longer is our workshop and Mr. Flagler’s home is once again a showcase for all who visit Palm Beach.