At the Hudson company's custom Mill in Pine Plains, New York, the past is always present. Every plank and beam has a history that carries with it the visual character and authenticity that design-forward residential projects and cultural institutions crave. Procuring and producing this sought-after building material to Hudson’s exacting standards can be a complex undertaking, but for Jamie Hammel and his team, who travel the world to source it, the end result is always worth the effort.
The barn swallow flapping at the entrance of The Hudson Company’s headquarters in Pine Plains, New York, in northeastern Dutchess County, feels like a sign. The newly hatched creature, just fresh from the nest, doesn’t want to leave. His father and mother and siblings have all flown away. But he (or she) is content—and why not? As a repository of reclaimed and reprocessed wood, The Hudson Company is literally the perfect perch.

It wasn’t always this way. When Jamie Hammel launched the company in 2010, the inventory was a fraction of its current size and not the mountains of neatly stacked historic wood sorted by size and species that pepper the landscape today. The air was quieter, absent the chorus of buzz saws, humming machinery and the click-clack ping of nails being removed from a harvest of old timber dropping into glass jars (recycling isn’t limited to wood alone here.) Back then, the building that houses The Hudson Company was still the shell of an old public theater—which was itself the shell of Carvel’s former ice cream distribution center—and bore little resemblance to the beautifully rustic showplace of niche carpentry and sustainable design that it is today. 

What’s more, in 2010, the practice of reclaiming and reinventing old wood barely even registered as an industry, and Jamie spent the first couple of years just teaching himself the ins and outs of his nascent operation. “I spent a lot of nights wondering what I—a guy who had worked for media companies like Condé Nast and NBC in New York City—had gotten myself into,” he says. “I had no experience with this world, just a passion for design, an interest in green building and a vague sense that this type of work could become important and in-demand after the recession. I’m also an entrepreneur at heart,” he continues, “but there were definitely hard times when I worried I had made a colossal mistake.”

A lucky break early on convinced him otherwise. 

We had just launched into business,” Jamie recounts. “We had enough experience to have outgrown our hubris, but we were still definitely driven by a desire to succeed. Anyway,” he continues, “I get a call one night and it’s for an order of wood for a big apartment in Tribeca. I say, ‘YES!’ without thinking, and then wonder how I’ll ever make it happen. But we stayed up all night—because it’s a rush job and we clearly weren’t the first in line—and we got it done.”

The client—a very happy fellow whose myriad acting credits have made him a household name—took notice and became a return customer. “That project ended up being not only a big milestone professionally,” Jamie reflects, “but also the moment when I knew we had what it takes to survive long-term.”
As word spread and the business grew, The Hudson Company’s approach came to represent something unique and, as it turned out, highly desirable.
Today, the provenance of the company’s materials is as wide-ranging as the types of wood it sells, and his dedication to preserving the beams and boards of antique and historic structures—
from Civil War-era industrial buildings and New York City water tanks to fossilized Southern Cypress prized for its wild coloration—lends a bespoke sheen to the business.
That’s not to say the journey has been easy. The market for reclaimed wood has evolved immeasurably over the past 12 years, and The Hudson Company marked a distinct shift away from the questionable standards and poor service that had come to be associated with the industry.
Instead, Jamie embraced values more closely aligned with high-end design and design-adjacent businesses: quality, controls, unparalleled client support and an encyclopedic knowledge of wood—insights he offers freely and often. A passing comment about a table or wall inside Jamie’s office, for instance, is more likely than not to result in a quick lesson on mushroom wood and its many attributes (“great for wall paneling”) or the merits of white vs. red oak.
When Jamie started out, The Hudson Company’s supply came mostly from old barns salvaged from the Hudson Valley. Over time, other sourcing avenues opened up—largely due to the network of fellow purveyors, as well as construction crews, that Jamie has personally cultivated over the years. One of these mutually beneficial relationships bore fruit last summer when the decommissioned Draper Mill, a once-thriving factory located just south of Boston, was slated for demolition.
Through the project foreman, Jamie got a jump on the scores of Antique Heart Pine encased within the massive building. What’s more, the site lead was the foreman’s son, so Jamie knew the wood would be handled and organized with care.…his dedication to preserving the beams and boards of antique and historic structures—from Civil-War era industrial buildings and New York City water tanks to fossilized Southern Cyprus prized for its wild coloration—lends a bespoke sheen to the business.
This meticulousness extends to every project, regardless of the end-use: not just to floorboards, for example, but also to the original joists they were nailed to (which deepens the patina and integrity of the repurposed pieces); not just to siding, but also to specialized interior elements like ceiling beams.
Indeed, The Hudson Company’s particular brand of old-new reinvention is on display everywhere from private residences to hospitality properties, such as the 1 Hotel, to cultural institutions, like the Whitney Museum, and even public parks.
“People choose us because we care about aesthetics as much as sustainability, and we have the capabilities to take on challenging specifications,” Jamie says.

“To do the High Line, my team traveled to Hyderabad, a city built in India in the 1600s, to reclaim teak, which is not a valuable species there because it’s so abundant. We salvaged the wood cold so we could take the joists, too. Then, we shipped it back here, milled it and turned it into decking and benches for the High Line.”
Likewise, he continues, the Whitney was a significant logistical undertaking. “The Whitney’s floors are the largest reclaimed floors in the United States. We milled over 30 tractor trailers of Antique Heart Pine timbers—each one 5" x 17" x 22'—from the Phillip Morris factory in Louisville, Kentucky. The finished product is also an inch and a half thick, which is very unusual; we have the flexibility to custom manufacture projects like this in line with an architect’s vision, no matter the scale.”
Installation view of America Is Hard to See (Whitney Museum of American Art).
The hudson company High falls european oak herringbone floor in soho loft in NYC. Interiors by jesse parris-lamb. Photography by Nicole Franzen.