For over 80 years the Fort Worth Botanic Garden has been a place for visitors to experience the beauty of nature. And, when it was time to restore and preserve decades of history, the FWBG society turned to Hull Historical and an exotic hardwood that will last another century.
Brent Hull and Hull Historical had a unique challenge: restoring the pergola (called the Shelter House) that overlooks the Lower Rose Garden. In order to ensure this new structure would last while keeping with the original architecture, Hull chose ipe beams for the structure. Ipe is an exotic hardwood primarily found in Brazil and is the densest and strongest hardwood available.
Restoring a structure that was built 80 years ago is no small task. Fortunately, Hull Historical is known for restoring landmarks across the country, from government buildings to historic mansions. Hull's extensive experience was put to the test with the Shelter House. Using ipe for the pergola meant the pergola could last another 80 years, but it posed several challenges.
DIFFICULTY IN THE DETAILS
Although ipe was the perfect choice for this historic project, it was also the most difficult to work with. First, Hull had to find the large 6x12 beams. After a nationwide search, Hull found TimberTown. We were able to supply the beam package as well as the rest of the ipe needed through our importer: Overseas Hardwood Company.
Once the beams were acquired, the next challenge was the actual construction of the Shelter House. Being so dense, making precision cuts with ipe is near impossible. The attention to detail of this restoration is truly remarkable considering the workability of the product. Notice the dovetail joints used to lengthen the span of each beam creating a seamless look. The copper accents also bring a subtle beauty that will become more apparent as the wood naturally grays.
ROSE COLORED GLASSES
What makes this project more beautiful is the landscape which surrounds it. The Lower Rose Garden was inspired by Italy's Villa Lante with vista views, water features, and a rose-filled landscape. Stunning roses flow from the garden below to the pergola above. The beauty of the garden attracts weddings and special events all year round, and the pergola is an excellent backdrop to the vibrant colors of the rose garden.
PLAN A VISIT
The Forth Worth Botanic Garden is open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year and is located just outside downtown Forth Worth, TX. You can find out more about the Lower Rose Garden or any of the 23 speciality gardens at fwbg.org.