Beech Tree Gallery Floor

E&H American Beech Tree was repurposed into the beautiful flooring of the MCA Art Gallery

Reclaimed Wood Floor in MCA Art Gallery

Students and alumni may remember the huge American beech tree that once stood between Carriger Hall and Wiley Hall, where the walls of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts are now going up. In the design phase of the building, it was decided that the College would preserve the memory of that magnificent tree by using its wood for the flooring of the Center's art gallery. The gallery is located on the left side in the middle of the building almost exactly where the tree once stood. A plaque will be placed in the art gallery explaining the tree's new aesthetic role on the campus. To prepare the tree for its new use, it was carefully taken down and transported to a sawmill near Hillsville, Virginia. The images above show the reclaimed wood being processed.

The sense place at Emory & Henry College and its regional surroundings encompass much more than simply physical location. It additionally includes our experiences, histories, and feelings. The floor of The MCA Gallery is significant because it is primarily constructed with wood harvested from an impressive American beech tree that was removed to make way for the new Arts Center. For many decades, perhaps more than a century, this distinctive tree occupied the space, shaped the landscape, and provided numerous opportunities for experiences ranging from a shaded study place for college students to tree-climbing fun for local children. Now transformed into a beautiful floor, the tree shapes the gallery space and art viewer experiences in a new way. In a quiet way, it symbolically holds personal memories and collective histories.