It’s most likely that the dense rot-resistant woods of African tropical forests – in this case Ekki (aka African Ironwood) – are used on the African continent or flow into the European hardwood markets, where they’re employed for heavy marine applications or even the tracks of the Paris Metro.
Now, they’ve been discovered at the South Street Seaport, the historic entre-port of Manhattan Island; where they served as boardwalk decking planks. Dismantled in recent years to make way for the new Pier 17 development, the decking in it’s raw form has a characteristic Rhino grey patina over an exquisite hairline-check pattern. Because of the complex molecular structure of this jungle wood, it’s is not recommended for use in narrower than 4/4″ thickness, making it ideal for decks, exterior walkways, planters or counter tops. It’s rare that tropical hardwoods can be used in good conscience and carry historical provenance – but for projects looking for the woods unparalled aesthetic and performance qualities, the ship has arrived with reclaimed African Ironwood.