Millwork

COLLEGE & CHURCH MILLWORK

Olek Replicates historic millwork for Church and College buildings being restored. Millwork may have been destroyed by modernization, or fire. We precisely follow drawings to recreate the past designs, fabricating knives in our shop as needed to replicate all of the profiles needed. We have worked on single projects that have required as many as 100 pairs of knives. Lumber is carefully selected to match the original. Quarter sawn oak was often used in better millwork, or rift cut. The appearance is quarter sawn white oak, often called “tiger” oak for the striping pattern of its medullary rays, is quite different from the “cathedral” graining pattern found in flat-cut white oak. The patina of antique panelling may be precisely replicated by our artists, by combination of aniline dyes and pigmented stains. The new woodwork finish is carefully matched, and is indistinguishable next to centuries old paneling, even when joined directly to the old millwork.

More important than many realize, is replicating the joinery of the past. Mortise and tenon joinery was an integral part of traditional millwork, for good reason. It holds up to the stresses of use, for hundreds of years. Modern methods of joining woodwork, using dowels, biscuits, or nails will not hold up for many decades. Today another issue that comes up is using veneered MDF rather than solid lumber. Of course, using solid lumber is superior in every respect, except higher cost, to using MDF, which breaks apart under low stresses and minor damaging forces. Solid lumber is sometimes in conflict with the Fire Code, demanding fire-rated MDF instead of solid lumber.

Below are some examples of Olek’s Church or College millwork:

FORDHAM ROSE HILL CAMPUS- DWAYNE LIBRARY

ALL INTERIOR MILLWORK REPLACEMENT- 250,000 SF BLDG

All millwork new to replace original, see old sepia photo above. The Gothic Screen has 2 Double Doors, 5″ thick quartered solid white oak.

New Reception desk and A/V closet added to original design

Solid quartered white oak throughout

Great Hall walls- new paneling

Ornate neo-Gothic design included crockets, quatrefoils, trefoils, roses, arches, and other complex hand-carved shapes. Photographed eight years post-completion.

REST OF MILLWORK THROUGHOUT BUILDING NEW- GUT RENOVATION:

Typical first floor millwork in common halls. Doors at back of hall were some of the remaining original millwork remnants, all restored by Olek in the library building.

ENTRY VESTIBULE PANELING:

WAINSCOT PANELING ON OTHER FLOORS

Running & standing trim throughout the four floors of the building were also in our scope.

CUNY-HUNTER COLLEGE-SARA DELANOR & FDR TOWNHOUSES

MILLWORK RESTORATION; PANELING, DOORS, WINDOWS, TRIM

Sara Delanor Roosevelt and Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s Townhouses, now Hunter College. All Millwork restored or replicated by Olek.

Old stairway required new paneling, old had been demolished.

aneling for stairs, fabricated with mortise and tenon joinery. Note the “tongues” of wood, or tenons, that project into slots , or mortises cut into vertical stiles. Strongest, longest lasting joinery. Was not required for this project. See the panels below, fit tongue and groove into stiles and rails above. Traditional joinery.

New stair rail paneling installed.

Hallway paneling salvaged in part, demolished in part.

Hall paneling installed

FDR’s Library, old paneling demolished. New paneling different, to accommodate air conditioning, see below.

Church Replicated Gallery

University Club

CUSTOM LIBRARY WOODWORK DESIGN, FABRICATION, FINISHING AND INSTALLATION

Olek builds custom library woodwork, of veneered or solid stock. We can produce any type of design and construction. Our work has included the fabricating of solid white oak Gothic linen-fold hand-carved paneling and molded dentil wainscot to match existing, or completely new to reproduce historic designs precisely. Exotic veneers and patterned veneered stock can be used in modern designs. Careful planning, shop drawings, procurement, skillful production and finishing will make your library a place to peacefully work, read, and enjoy your library.

Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s Study in NYC residence was re-built in the same pattern as originally made, to accommodate dropping of the ceiling when its current owner, Hunter College – CUNY hired us to renovate the woodwork there, restoring most of it, and replacing almost all of the millwork in the study:

Sara Delanor Roosevelt, FDR’s mother gave birth to FDR in this townhouse, where she lived.

The woodwork was made of yellow birch, not walnut. Yellow birch was sometimes used to imitate antique walnut, bleached out by decades of light. The original finish, copal varnish, was imported in the naturally occurring resin growing on Copaifera guibourthiana trees in the Congo. Our shop ground and prepared the varnish into a finish similar to the original, according to the Preservation Consultant, Jablonski Assoc. and the Architect, Polshek and Partners, now renamed Ennead Partners.

The above windows and some of the pilasters remained and were restored. The rest of the woodwork was fabricated to seamlessly join and be finished, including color, gloss, and patina, to the original.

Matching the finish of old to the original is difficult after stripping, as the old finish must be brushed out of the pores ot the wood, to allow the pores to be stained dark like antique walnut.

This wall had the woodwork entirely replaced, the new doors partially installed.

Woodwork Library Gallery

FDR’s and Sara Delanor Roosevelt’s NYC Home