Landis business turning wood from tobacco warehouses into furniture
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó Turning House Furniture, sister company to Turning House Millworks in Landis, will give new life to more than 230,000 feet of vintage wood from abandoned tobacco warehouses at an R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company campus in Winston-Salem.
It is one of the largest buildings to be deconstructed with the former Corriher Mill in Landis, where Turning House Millworks is located, being the largest.
Turning House Millworks provides the wood for Turning House Furniture through a slow process of deconstructing old, abandoned buildings that would otherwise be destined for landfills.
The warehouses were built between 1919 and 1925 where tobacco was stored and aged in these buildings. Now the warehouse’s southern long leaf pine, oak and sugar maple will take on new life as one-of-a-kind furniture, flooring and architectural elements.
“The wood discovered in the beams and decking will save more than 92 acres of full growth forest, the equivalent of nearly 1,403 trees,” said Spencer Morten III, CEO and chairman of Turning House Furniture. “When the warehouses are deconstructed by the end of the year, seven decades of history will be reclaimed and reborn as new products, each complete with a story.”
Old growth hardwoods harvested from old factories, mills and tobacco warehouses are given new life as furniture, flooring, cabinets and other building products.
To date, Turning House Furniture has utilized reclaimed lumber from historic sites including the Corriher Mill in Landis, the Rip Van Winkle Distillery’s Lawrenceburg Warehouse in Lawrenceburg, Ky.; the Greeneville Redrying Co. Warehouse, Greeneville, Tenn.; and Bessemer City Cotton Mill in Bessemer City.
The deconstruction team has mastered the reclamation process, recycling 98 percent of each building.
Turning House Furniture celebrates the character of these vintage reclaimed woods where nature’s fingerprints such as natural mineral streaks or worm holes can be found on each piece of furniture.
There is a meticulous process that groups wood together by harvesting location, species and quality grade. Each Turning House product contains an authentication packet that offers a history of the building from which the wood for that particular piece was harvested.
“The woods that were used to build the beams and the floors of these tobacco warehouses offer a great sense of history,” Morten said. “At Turning House Furniture we plan to extend that life and create a new history by making tens of thousands of beautiful furniture pieces with these reclaimed woods that can’t be found anywhere else.”
As a member of the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC), the custom order millworks offers full documentation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits on all reclaimed lumber products. Turning House Furniture, a member of the Sustainability Furnishings Council, is based in Bassett, Va. and targets upscale retailers and interior designers.
For information visit turninghousefurniture.com or turninghousemillworks.com.