Celtics history: Why does the Boston Garden have a parquet floor?
Parquet flooring is a type of hardwood flooring composed of small wooden pieces arranged in a geometric pattern, giving it a mosaic-like appearance.
The Boston Garden, the former home arena of the Boston Celtics, boasted a unique and notable feature - its parquet floor. The traditional hardwood floor installed in 1928 was replaced with a new, unique design in the early 1950s.
The rich history of the Boston Celtics’ iconic parquet floor can be traced back to Walter Brown, the team’s original owner. Brown realized the need for a good quality floor to attract fans and top-notch players to the team. Jeff Twiss, the Celtics vice president of media services and alumni relations and an unofficial team historian, explained that the only way to achieve this was to gather wood scraps from lumber yards across Boston and painstakingly assemble them in a pattern that formed a parquet-style design.
Why the hardwood floor?
Brown’s vision for the basketball court came to fruition with a mere $11,000 budget. Don’t forget that this is still the post-War era, with many prime-material shortages, among them quality wood. The team’s legendary parquet floor was constructed using surplus scraps of northern Tennessee red oak, arranged in an alternating pattern that resulted in the coveted parquet effect. The bed comprised 247 5-foot by 5-foot square panels, held together by wood planks, brass screws, and an impressive 988 bolts. Brown’s genius choice of flooring material has since become a hallmark of the Celtics organization, and the legendary parquet floor remains an integral part of the team’s rich history.
The parquet floor has emerged as the flooring material of choice to ensure practicality and durability. The decision to opt for small hardwood sections was driven by the ease with which damaged sections can be replaced or areas with high traffic can be refurbished. This move is set to guarantee a long-lasting and sturdy floor in the arena.
This benefit was crucial for a sports arena, where the floor is constantly worn and torn. Additionally, the herringbone pattern of the parquet floor created a visually appealing look that added to the overall aesthetic of the arena. The unique and intricate design of the floor made it a distinctive feature of the Boston Garden that set it apart from other sports arenas.
Today, the Boston Celtics play at the TD Garden, built in 1995 to replace the original Boston Garden. However, the parquet floor design from the old Boston Garden was replicated in the new arena as a tribute to the team’s history and legacy.