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Wood Innovations
Stock Catalog

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About Wood Innovations

Wood Innovations has been a St. Louis institution since 1983. It is located in south part of the city in the Benton Park nieghborhood, a center of historical architecture and preservation. It was founded by Bill Zuppann, who came down to St. Louis because of the urban revitalization happening in St. Louis in the mid 1970s. St. Louis was buzzing with rehabbing.

Bill and some friends worked on several rehab projects and found a need to match and reproduce the woodwork in the style of the original buildings they were working on. Bill built a small millshop to meet their needs. What he found was the need for custom wood work was vastly underserved in the St. Louis region. Thus Wood Innovations was born.

What started out as a relatively small enterprise has grown to several machines and a complete millshop, able to create an immense variety of custom millwork. In the shop, he works with a couple master craftsmen woodworkers and apprentices, plus office personnel.

Bill has always had a love for and strong interest in historic buildings. Bill's grandfather was a fine furniture maker and his father was an engineer, so it's no surprise that he acquired many of the same type of skills and sense of precision that would be so well suited for historic millwork. He has been doing it for so long that he knows period historic architecture and the detail woodwork that it contains.

Bill is an expert in matching wood work of historic buildings. “We are often asked to make a item that has long since been removed from a home, with few remaining details present,” says Bill. “The challenge is knowing what was consistent in the era it was built.”

His work is not limited to strictly St. Louis. Though most of Wood Innovations' work comes from the region, they are occasionally are asked to do work for out-of-town clients who have a deep need for their work and no local resource to create it.

“In some ways, it is a dying art,” says Bill. “We, as a city, region and country have had the good fortune to create some amazing homes and buildings. It is our job to keep their designs intact and unblemished when they are rehabbed. Few people have the tools, skills or desire to do what we do.”

In addition to Bill's work with Wood Innovations, he has started a survey of historic architecture of the St. Louis area. “We need to document what we still have,” says Bill. “The St. Louis style is unique. Much of it has been lost to history. We need to archive the design.”