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.