The Bellville Turnverein Pavilion Restoration Project is nearing the end of its journey with the refinishing of the building’s dance floor.  The Saturday of last week crews began prep work to refinish the dance floor, one of the last major tasks remaining in the restoration. The first step involves removing the wax applied to the floor 35 years ago in order for the new finisher to penetrate the wood. See photo.
According to Tom Barron with the Restoration group, a considerable effort was undertaken to determine the best treatment for the oak floor. In 1972, the oak floor was installed on top of the original pine floor because of the deteriorated condition of the original 1897 floor. The deterioration resulted from standing water on the floor through years of roof leaks. However, a 4 ft. deep section of the original floor still exists in front of the perimeter benches and on the stage. These will be refinished also.
David Bucek of Stern and Bucek Architects, the Project’s historical architect, provided valuable input regarding the reconditioning procedures and recommended products to use. Members of his team who worked on the 2017 Building Assessment Study including Johnny Langer, a Galveston finish and paint expert, and Patrick Sparks, one of the founders of Texas Dance Hall Preservation, contributed to the effort. Mr. Sparks, a structural engineer, designed the extensive bracing of the roof structure installed during Phase I of the restoration.
A number of coats of a Tung-oil based finisher will be buffed into the oak and pine wood. A full 24 hours of drying time are required between coats followed by 7 days of final drying before the floor is ready for traffic. Because of the long floor refinishing process, the revised restoration completion date is mid to late August.

Eden Harris, the group’s Rental & Event Coordinator, is fielding rental inquiries for the hall and can be contacted at [email protected].


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