An estimated 1.4 million feet of Douglas timber went into building the camouflaged Boeing Plant 2, and 250,000 feet of that timber is being reclaimed and sold by Duluth Timber. Boeing Plant 2 was an astounding 1.7 million square foot facility that played a crucial role in producing nearly 7,000 Flying Fortresses in World War II – all under the camouflage of what looked like a housing development from the air.
The building’s unique role in history begins when John Stewart Detlie, a Hollywood set designer, helped “hide” the plant using design techniques used for film. The fake housing development covered nearly 26 acres with netting, plywood and chicken wire on top of the roof to thwart bombing runs by Japanese forces. One fake rooftop corner street sign read “Synthetic St. & Burlap Blvd.” The plant produced up to a staggering 362 planes a month, mostly the B-17 and B-29 Flying Fortress. The building was also one of the largest in the word with some of the longest single-span trusses in its time.
This spring, Duluth Timber opened a micro-yard in Seattle on the shipping canal at 598 W. Nickerson Ave. Samples of Boeing Plant 2’s wood are on view there, along with premium reclaimed redwood, cypress, and heart pine from deconstruction projects throughout America. So there you have it, lots of reclaimed wood for your next project (you know, for that modern house you’ve been dying to build).
If you want to revel in what reclaimed Douglas fir can be reshaped into, then check out Inhabitat’s article on this angular 23.2 House by architect Omer Arbel (and to see more of the lust-worthy interiors head to the coverage in Dwell).