Our Space

Custom Wood Floor Designs

The wood floor of the Beethoven Center was specially designed by James F. Green of Alexandria, Virginia. It follows the classic designs of such floors from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and includes design elements from Versailles and Russian Imperial palaces. This design also incorporates elements related to the Beethoven Center.

The corner escutcheons contain a classic lyre motif with a letter "B" for Beethoven and Ira F. Brilliant, the Center's founder. The lyre design is adapted directly from the carved lyre found on the 1827 Jakesch piano owned by the Beethoven Center.

Inlaid wood lyre with script "B"   Lyre on the Jakesch pianoforte

The center design, a "trophy" medallion that most often consisted of military
armaments, is also frequently designed as musical instruments or farm implements. The violin in the center of the medallion is an image of one actually owned by Beethoven, and the sheet of music is the beginning of an unfinished violin sonata composed by him. Other instruments shown are castanets, panpipe, flute, and horn.

Inlaid wood floor medallion featuring a violin and other musical instruments   Close-up view of the wood floor medallion featuring a violin

The floor uses approximately twenty-seven wood species to create the design. The principal wood in the field is American maple, while the borders and medallion consist of both domestic and exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian rosewood, Madagascar ebony, sandalwood, Russian olive, ash and Carpathian walnut, to name just a few.

The floor was fabricated by Historic Floors of Oshkosh, Wisconsin and installed by Van Briggle Floors of Campbell, California.

Photo credit: Julia Bradshaw