Flooring in Hotel Pattee library restored to exacting standards of original

Master woodworker Joe Warnock, left, and Hotel Pattee owner Jay Hartz gave loving attention to the restoration of the flooring in the hotel's Ned Willis Library. The two-day job followed the library's flooding earlier in April.

Repairs are nearly complete on the flooring of the Ned Willis Library in the Hotel Pattee, which sustained water damage earlier in April when leaking plumbing flooded the wood-paneled room.

“That’s a highly engineered floor,” said master woodworker Joe Warnock of rural Perry. “You can see that no expense was spared in its original construction, and Jay and I have restored it in a way that even Roberta would approve of.”

Warnock was referring to Perry native Roberta Green Ahmanson, who with her husband, Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., heir to the Home Savings bank fortune in California, sank about $10 million into the restoration and remodeling of the boutique hotel in the mid-1990s. Green Ahmanson was notably exacting in her standards for the restoration.

Jay Hartz, owner of the 100-year-old landmark hotel, took a hand in helping Warnock replace the parquet flooring in the library, a job that took two days.

“It’s a labor of love,” Hartz said as he shook the sawdust from his tousled hair.

Once the flooring is replaced, the Persian carpet will be fitted into its spot in the center of the room, and the leather furnishings will return to their usual places. Plastic sheeting used to protect the room’s bookcases and curio cabinets will be removed, and the job will be done.


  1. Woody (Joe Warnock) had been employed by the Hotel Pattee to keep the mahogany there in good shape back when Roberta still owned the place. I was working there about 18 months after the place was reopened. My first-time experience with the BRR riders of 1999 was rather amusing. As is their custom, some of the BRR cycling teams had placed adhesive stickers for their teams on some of their room doors. It was amusing to see the blood return to their faces when it was determined Woody could remove the stickers because they had done no permanent damage, which would have required financial remuneration. To my knowledge, no instances of team stickers plastering our mahogany have been reported since.

  2. Wonderful that you are taking such good care of the Pattee Hotel. It has been a favorite meeting place for our family for many years.


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