Heritage Salvage Re-purposes Retired Redwood Water Tank into Two Dozen Bay Area Green Projects

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Salvage meets sustainable at Gather Restaurant in greenest building in the East Bay.

It warms 'me' heart to be promoting the beauty of old wood and through talking stories, salvaging our heritage along the way.

Heritage Salvage completes crafting twenty reclaimed redwood table tops, counter front, and entry door panels for Gather restaurant opening December 15th in Berkeley. This marks final destination of wood repurposed from a 75-year old 100,000-gallon redwood water tank deconstructed in San Rafael, California.

It began Summer 2008, when Marin Municipal Water District in San Rafael requested proposals for removal of wooden water tank. The 30-foot diameter, 20-foot tall tank held a million pounds of water. Senior Engineer reported all proposals too high and they could not afford to proceed. At that time, seeing the value and beauty of the redwood, Michael “Bug” Deakin, founder Heritage Salvage offers to take down the tank for one dollar.

One dollar and 16 months later, Heritage Salvage has re-enlisted old growth redwood and materials reclaimed from the tank in over twenty green projects, with it taking on new life as interior paneling, shelving, entertainment centers, bars, tables, trellises, and more.

The water tanks major appearances include: Windsor Firehouse #2 as exterior siding and arched door encasements; Martin’s West Gastro Pub in Redwood City as 26 foot curved bar complete with metal bands and siding, foot rails and curtain rods as well as wall shelving; Rickhouse on Kearny Street in San Francisco, complete interior done in whiskey barrel faux using all tank staves skins with band marks, and now her swan song at Gather Restaurant in Berkeley.

“There was no question for us, to use recycled materials in the crafting of our restaurant. We are located in the David Brower Center, the greenest building in the East Bay, and wanted to do it all sustainably. Ever since Julia Butterfly Hill introduced us, I have been looking forward to working with Bug at Heritage Salvage. We specifically chose wood that came from our local forests and represent the environment of the Bay Area, redwood and douglas fir. Our customers can now enjoy their seasonal local food on local wood that held waters of life, what could be better?” Ari Derfel, co-owner of Gather.

“Green has made the scene! Heritage Salvage is increasingly the sustainable choice for Bay Area upscale restaurants and homes," said Michael "Bug" Deakin, founder. "It warms 'me' heart to be promoting the beauty of old wood and through talking stories, salvaging our heritage along the way."

About Gather Restaurant
Gather is a restaurant, café and organic bar with an outdoor patio in
Downtown Berkeley. We serve seasonal farm food, sourced carefully and prepared thoughtfully, with a fairly priced menu for vegetarians and omnivores. Located in the David Brower Center, the greenest building in the East Bay, Gather is designed to inspire community and educate people about food.

About Heritage Salvage, practicing sustainable enthusiasm
Heritage Salvage, Petaluma’s green building source, specializes in reclaiming, repurposing, and reusing wood and building materials from windfalls and existing structures. We offer recycled building materials and custom furniture hand-crafted by our artists, as well as custom design-build to client’s needs for home, garden and commercial projects. Heritage Salvage revitalizes heritage and participates in community with a passion for beauty, a design for life, and positive input for the spirit.


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Diana Iles Parker
Spoken Media
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