While in NYC for sales meetings I stopped into a new retail store installation on 5th Ave. Our engineered
pre-finished oak end grain was installed throughout the store. The client chose an ebony WOCA oil finish
for the retail flooring. After speaking with both the store manager and some customers it seems everyone
is very taken with our end grain flooring and how nicely it fits with the decor. If you’d like to see it for yourself …
stop by 79 5th Ave. NY, NY
— Josh Kaswell
I was in NYC three weeks ago and the nice people at Lend Lease gave me a private tour of the
WTC Memorial Pavilion. The museum area is off limits for any photography but I was able to get
some pictures of our edge grain flooring installed in the pavilion both in a congregating theater room,
lobby, and staircase. I’m told the museum and pavilion will open to the public this spring. It is an
unbelievable facility and we are very proud to be a part of this historical place. The tragedy of 9-11
is well documented and respectfully remembered in this long awaited building.
— Josh Kaswell
One small step at the World Trade Center Museum, One giant step for Kaswell Flooring Systems.
We had known for several years, one of our products was to be installed at the WTC Pavilion. We had shipped the material not long ago, but it wasn’t until last week when I visited Ground Zero, that it became a reality for me.
When I first arrived at the gate, I looked up and saw the majestic tower built adjacent to where the two original towers once stood. The new tower is just beautiful. It is the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen and is a tribute to the design team of Skidmore Owings and Merrill.
I was asked to be on-site to assist the installers with our edge grain wood flooring for the Museum Pavilion. We started the installation at the top step of a large set of stairs that took me to the pavilion section. The building sits beside the tower, opposite the memorial water falls where the original towers once stood.
It was such an honor to be there. Everyone was so professional, there was no fooling around. All the trades seemed very cooperative, they know that they are helping to build a sacred place for our country. Now the reality of it has set in, Kaswell is a small part of it. I took several pictures of the tower as I entered the construction site, and pictures of the installation of our blocks.
Everyone was grateful that I was there. I was grateful for being invited.
I recently returned from a trip to Normandy including Omaha Beach and Caen, France. Our end grain Iroko block flooring was chosen for a WWII Nazi Bunker project, and I was requested to assist with the installation. The CAEN Museum (normandy.memorial-caen.com), established in 1988 is regarded as the best World War II museum in France. The site of the museum was chosen because below the ground is a 3,000 sq. ft. Nazi bunker built for General Richter, from which the Nazis ran their war effort in Normandy against the allied forces of the USA, Canada, and Great Britain. The bunker is an eerie place, a long narrow tunnel style concrete bunker, left as it was built for almost 70 years. French officials decided it was time to open it to the general public as part of the museum, but some minimal restoration was needed. The concrete floor was apparently not suitable for public access, so it was first resurfaced. It was then determined that the concrete slab should be covered with a suitable floor to enhance the bunker’s appearance but without making a significant upgrade. Considering the humidity is at or near 80% 24 hours per day, their choices were undoubtedly limited. They found end grain to be a suitable choice for durability and appearance, but would also need rot resistance and stability. They chose Kaswell Iroko End Grain, an African Teak, very stable and rot resistant, neutral in color, mostly tan and brown pieces.
While in Normandy, I also visited Omaha Beach, about 10 miles north of CAEN. I walked through the American cemetery that we all saw in Saving Private Ryan, which is also clearly visable on the Google satellite. My father, Harold, had landed at Omaha Beach 7 days after D-day, and needless to say, it was a very sensitive and meaningful trip. My father got into the block flooring business just 2 years after returning from the war.