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Environmental Information Series
International Day of Forests & World Wood Day

March 21st has been designated as International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly. World Wood Day is celebrated on the same day to raise the awareness on how wood plays a key role for a sustainable future.

In honor of World Wood Day here are some facts about wood on the ESF campus:

  • The H.P. Brown Memorial Wood Collection in 101 Baker contains over 10,000 samples of wood from around the world. Collections include the Yale Wood collection, the J. Samuel Record collection, and the Project 1 samples of commercial woods of the United States. The HP Brown Wood Collection supports wood anatomy research and the Tropical Timber Information Center.
  • The “Woods of the World” Map formerly located in Bray Rotunda was donated by John D. Marsellus in 1964.  The hand-crafted, veneer-inlay map was made in Valencia, Spain in the early 1960’s.  John Marsellus purchased it from Smith and Watson Inc. of New York City.  According to the brochure, “The artwork is made entirely of wood with various wood veneer samples inlaid to depict each country. Each country is represented by a species that is native to that location”.  For example the contiguous United States is represented by cherry, Alaska is made from birch and Hawaii is shown in koa.  The oceans are represented by mahogany.  The brochure has a key to each country with 31 wood species representing 126 countries. The map is currently located in the Development Office with plans to move it to the Gateway Center.
  • Wood panels in the President’s and Provost’s offices in Bray Hall were installed when Bray Hall was built in 1916.  The panels are labeled with common and scientific (Latin) name.
  • Wood Panels in the SCME department. In the hallway of the second floor of Baker Lab there are “teaching panels” for the wood identification class. These panels were moved from the fourth floor of Baker during the rehab. They were refinished and placed in the hallway of the second floor of Baker. The first panel is softwoods, the middle panel is the feature/defect panel, and third is the hardwood panel. Many of these are Project 1 woods collected across the United States in the 1920’s.
  • In Baker Laboratory, the frames and signage are cherry. The office furniture in Baker is cherry and was manufactured by Gunlocke Co. in Wayland, New York. The lab benches and cabinets are maple.
  • The table top of the large conference table in the Bray Hall Board Room (229 Bray) is one solid board of Douglas-fir.
  • The furniture in Centennial Hall was made by one of the premier hardwood furniture manufacturers in the United States; L. and J.G. Stickley, Manlius, NY.  The timber frame tower and exterior detail was manufactured by New Energy Works in Farmington, NY and is made from west-coast Douglas-fir.  
  • The Gateway Center features wood in many forms.  There is a structural steel and timber framing system, which features exposed Douglas-fir glu-lam beams, purlins and wood decking at the lobby and concourse of the building.  There are also prominent structural spars (canted columns) featured at the north and south building entrance canopies and as branch-like supports for beams, radiating from the steel columns through the lobby and concourse.  The structural Douglas-fir features were sourced from the west coast and manufactured in Oregon from FSC certified sources.  Interior finishes throughout the building feature wood species representative of the northeast; including cherry, maple, oak and walnut. Solid wood and wood veneers are used for interior door and window framing, doors, wainscots, wall panels, and acoustic treatments.  There is a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant within the building that utilizes wood pellets (biomass) to heat the Gateway Center along with four adjacent buildings.

Prepared by Dr. Susan E. Anagnost