Sharing Our Story: The Holiday Party

We’re excited to celebrate another year here at Versatile and this year we held our holiday party at the De Wolf’s new home: The Isam White house. Here’s a peak inside the home and festivities:

The Holiday Party
Product designer, Curtis Nagel and operations manager, Erica Witbeck raise their glasses to the season at the Holiday Party.
The Holiday Party
Shop carpenter, Sarah Isaacs-Meyers shares some quality time with a friend at the Holiday Party.
The Holiday Party
Arciform’s lead carpenter and project manager Jamie Whittaker and field carpenter, Jeff Inskeep discuss the state of the world at the Holiday Party.
The Holiday Party
Clockwise from left, back to front: product design manager, Rex Vaccaro’s partner, Nick, Arciform employee, Dave Thomas with friend, Amanda, Rex, Arciform project manager, Adam Schofield’s wife, Niki and accountant Jennifer Barrow.
The Holiday Party
The tree stood in the basement on the way to “The Chapel” …
The Holiday Party
What happens in “The Chapel” stays in the chapel.
The Holiday Party
Richard and Anne received some wonderful gifts from their team; Oregon Humane Society donation and a brick inscribed with their names in Pioneer Square.
The Holiday Party
Richard speaks to his team; “When I ask you what excites you about your work here each day, I really want to know. What makes you happy?”



Winning Together: Restoration Celebration 2017

Friday, Nov. 10th, 2017: On a rainy evening in downtown Portland, more than 250 people came together. Celebrating Oregon’s historical structures and preservation at Restore Oregon’s most important fundraiser of the year, The Restoration Celebration 2017. This year it was held at the beautiful Sentinel Hotel. The Sentinel was built in 1909 and designed by William Christmas Knighton. Knighton was Oregon’s first architect to use Viennese-influenced Early Modern and modified Arts and Crafts styles in his designs.

Versatile was proud to be the presenting sponsor at the restoration celebration 2017. They welcomed the guests with a toast by Anne De Wolf and Snow Blackwood (below).

Restoration Celebration 2017

So many people make an impact on Oregon’s historic preservation. This became obvious as the DeMuro Awards were given out to the leaders in preservation who are designing our historical structures in a way that makes sense for Oregon’s future.

Below are some photos of the night, courtesy of Side Angle Photography. We hope to see you there next year!

Restoration Celebration 2017
Restore Oregon’s marketing director, Jeannette Shupp and executive director, Peggy Moretti hold up this year’s DeMuro Award which was a beautifully crafted plate designed by Lonesomeville Pottery.
Restoration Celebration 2017
The Jantzen Beach carousel was built by renowned carver, C.W. Parker in 1904. Thanks to Restore Oregon it has been saved from demolition and now just needs a home. This way we can return this beloved family attraction and golden piece of our history to the greater Portland community. Read more
Restoration Celebration 2017
Gorgeous details of the Sentinel Hotel show us why preserving historical architecture is so important.
Restoration Celebration 2017
Karen Johnson (right) of Apollo Design and Rooter Service stands with friend.
Restoration Celebration 2017
From left: Maya Foty and Matthew Davis of Architectural Resources Group, Anne De Wolf of Arciform, Snow Blackwood of Snow B Designs and Jeff Dood of Reforma LLC.
Restoration Celebration 2017
Proud winners of a DeMuro Award for their work on the Overland Warehouse, Melody and Brian Emerick (left) stand with friends.
Restoration Celebration 2017
Let the show begin! MC and auctioneer, Restore Oregon’s board president, Roy Fox, entertained the crowd. He developed the excitement throughout the night helping to raise more than $90K on this evening in support of restoration.
Restoration Celebration 2017
Bill Hart and Anthony Belluschi
Restoration Celebration 2017
Roy Fox, Restore Oregon’s board president, briefs me for my time on stage while Erica stands by
Restoration Celebration 2017
Peggy Moretti honors Karla Pearlstein for her many achievements in historical restoration, most recently the Delaney House.

Celebrating the Towne Storage Job

Towne Storage

Towne Storage -208 windows, 455 sashes, 13 building phases (spanning October 2016 through August 2017), 81 deliveries to site, 4,752 pounds of lead sash weights, 5,967 square feet of insulated glass units and 1.2 miles of Simulated Divide Lite (SDL) bar applied and we’re finally ready to celebrate the Towne Storage job!

It was a perfect night for a celebration. As you will see from these pictures, we’re very proud of this work.

Back in March of 2016 we heard the news that the 101 year old, historic Towne Storage building at 17 SE 3rd Avenue would be renovated and expanded to include creative office space. Versatile Wood Products was proud to be the go-to custom window supplier.

Working closely with Bremik Construction, we built and installed 37 transom windows, 8 sash-only units and 163 classic windows. On Thursday August 24th, 2017 Versatile celebrated the completion of the project.

Our evening was filled with laughter, comraderie and cheers for a job well done. Below are photos from start to finish:

The job began in October of 2016. Bremik took out all of the old windows, boarded each window with plywood and commenced masonry repairs on the south side and the unsalvageable openings. As they worked we got started on designing and building. First up was the sash-only repairs the new energy efficient transom windows to match the original style designed by architects, McNaughton & Raymond.

Anna—an Arciform designer—gets some hands-on product cross-training, and Henry is an apprentice. Here they are running profiles on the exterior SDL bars. They did this for a few days yet just made a dent in the total quantity needed. Jeff, our mill foreman, made sure that materials were run in the right order and maximum yield from the lumber was attained.

Sashes are stacked on top of each other while the glue dries. We use a time-honored technique to put the sash together with a classic construction, mortise and tenon joint. Mortise and tenon joinery has been in use for thousands of years and remains the gold standard for high quality joinery.

What’s the difference between a frame and a sash?

Sash is just the square that the glass is attached to. The frame is the jamb that goes in the opening. The jamb includes the sill and is what the sash are seated inside. (More on this in another post!)

Henry, Thor and Matt use deep in frame construction, which the sash will next be fitted into. The process requires teamwork and precision, because a perfect fit for both the sash and the masonry opening depend on accuracy.

Product design is more than drafting. Here our designers Rex Vaccaro and Curtis Nagel, inspect their prototype. They make sure the sashes operate smoothly and all of the elements come together as drafted. They also make sure the frames will work with the openings in a very irregular old building. The design team met regularly with Bremik to strategize about installation needs as site conditions evolved. This required flexibility and responsiveness throughout the course of the project. With the seasoned experts from Bremik as our installation partners meant that each piece fit perfectly when it arrived on site.

And now it’s time to celebrate Towne Storage…

We’re done! Our last load delivery deserves a photo.

We don’t mind a beverage or two. Richard points to other buildings on the horizon that Versatile has worked on.

A view from the top.

Product designer, Alan Ford says there’s no better spot to sit than an open window.

The future is bright.

For more historic Versatile Wood projects, visit

2015 Restoration Celebration Honors Versatile

A restoration celebration honoring versatile client’s achievements. Everyone seated at Restoration Celebration

We were honored to have the opportunity to join the architecture and restoration community in celebrating Oregon’s achievements in restoration. This was held at Restore Oregon’s Restoration Celebration in November. We were also very excited to watch as several of our clients were honored with DeMuro Awards this year!

The Restoration Celebration serves a dual purpose.

It is the event that both announces the year’s Endangered Places list and celebrates the winners of the DeMuro Award. The Endangered Places List spotlights properties of historic significance in Oregon that are in danger of collapse or destruction. Nomination to the list provides a property with resources and grant opportunities to help stabilize and restore the property.

The DeMuro Awards are named for legendary Portland preservationist and developer Art DeMuro. DeMuro is a competitive award honoring the architecture and construction teams who tackle significant projects in rehabilitating Oregon’s historic structures.

Paul Falsetto wins DeMuro Award Blockhouse Cafe

Celebrating the awards and sharing our success

We were delighted to celebrate our dear friend and colleague Paul Falsetto. Paul received a DeMuro Award for his rehabilitation of the Dayton Blockhouse Cafe. Paul worked with our custom cabinetry team to develop a walnut back bar for that project. Along with a bar and table tops made out of reclaimed fir from the building’s floor joists

Block_House_Cafe_Photo_by_Paul_Falsetto_A_P_ (2)

We were also thrilled to celebrate the honoring of Venerable Properties for their Washington High School rehabilitation project.

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That project featured new sash built by Versatile that exactly replicated the building’s original double hung windows. They had been lost when an ill-guided renovation replaced them all with aluminum.


Richard and Alex Restoration Celebration

Our owner, Richard De Wolf, who is a member of the Restore Oregon board of directors. Alex Mackenzie, our chief sales person and expert resource for our clients. Enjoying the opportunity to connect with clients and colleagues who are helping move this important work forward in Oregon.

Richard Speaking at Restoration Celebration

Richard had the opportunity to give a brief speech at the event. He highlighted our own efforts to save some of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places.

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We have been able to directly contribute to the rescue and rehabilitation of at least one Endangered Place a year for the last 5 years. These range from the Pioneer Mother’s Cabin (above), which was on the verge of falling into the Willamette. To the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland, whose historic bell tower tracery was beginning to crumble.

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It was a beautiful event. We look forward to seeing which Endangered Place we can help knock off the list next year!

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