May 19, 2013
The back section of the Stone Bank has been completely dismantled and work to excavate the foundation has begun … and then we paused.
Here are some pictures of the work in progress followed by a story published in the Bottineau Courant with details about our construction hiccup.
From the Bottineau Courant:
Stone Bank Getting a Firm Foundation
Five old bottles and a construction hiccup surfaced at the Stone Bank Project on Bottineau’s Main Street last week when Joe Whetter finished dismantling the back of the structure and began to excavate the foundation.
“The hard part is over,” said Whetter, the project’s stone mason, after taking down stones weighing as much as 500 pounds from the building’s north wall.
As he began to scrape away the earth in what had been a crawl space under the back of the building, he found several early-1900s bottles embedded in the old crawl space. And then he found the hiccup.
Instead of a solid foundation wall on the Family Vision building next door, he ran into crumbling earth.
After some probing, he found that Family Vision’s foundation didn’t extend the full width of the building. About 50 feet back from Main Street, Family Vision’s foundation narrows, and the building sits atop a concrete platform that is cantilevered off the narrower foundation.
“I’ve seen it before, and it’s not a big problem as long as we get at it right away,” Whetter said.
After conferring with Paul Dunderland of Family Vision, Whetter and architect Bobbi Hepper-Olson arrived at a plan.
Whetter will place four concrete footings at a depth of about 5 feet under Family Vision’s floating foundation in the midsection of the building. He will then build four steel-reinforced concrete columns on the footings to support the middle section of the building.
With “40 feet or more of rebar” inside each of the concrete columns, Whetter said Family Vision’s foundation will be supported. Then he will continue work on putting a foundation under the back of the Stone Bank. When the Stone Bank’s basement wall is up, Whetter will pour flowable fill between the outside of the Stone Bank’s foundation and the concrete columns supporting Family Vision’s foundation.
“There are always surprises when you work on old buildings,” said Hepper-Olson, who visited the Stone Bank on May 3 in preparation for drawing final plans for reconstruction of the building’s back 20 feet. “This is a manageable surprise. I’ve seen things like this before.”
Whetter planned to place the two center columns on Saturday and will “let them strengthen up a bit” before placing the other two footings and columns. Once the work to undergird the Family Vision building is complete, excavation of a basement for the back of the Stone Bank can begin.
“We want to be good neighbors and not only do right by the Stone Bank but do right by the Family Vision building,” said Sharon Kessler, the president of Touchstones, the nonprofit group restoring the old bank building.
“I was reassured by our architect and Joe that this isn’t a huge problem,” Kessler said. “When Paul Dunderland met with us and said: ‘Do what you need to do,’ I was relieved. This is just a short distraction, and then we can get on with rebuilding the back of the Stone Bank.”
The additional cost to undergird the Family Vision building is $1,800.
“We only get one chance to do this right and this money will be well-spent.” Kessler said. “We will have to find donors or grants to help pay for it, but it will be worth it in the end.”
Information about the Stone Bank project and how you can help support the project is online at http://www.StoneBank.org.
We will be posting more photos and updates as the work chugs along. The hiccup and the $1,800 detour it caused means we need more donations to get this thing done. Can you help? Send a donation or dedicate a stone today. As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
April 22, 2013
Moving stone — successfully. That’s the story this week at the Stone Bank.
After a couple weeks of work, Joe has completed taking down the North Wall — stone by heavy stone.
For those of you just joining us, we had to dismantle the back 20 feet of the Stone Bank, which was built of local stone in 1900. The back section sits on shallow footings and was settling and causing structural issues. In 2013, we will put a new foundation under the back of the building and then put it all back together again — with all the modern conveniences.
Now what? We keep moving. We have a great architect, a strong and determined stone mason and a plan. What we need is your help. Even with grant money, we need local donations to help get this marvelous structure repaired and put back into use.
Here’s the difference between the “legend of the Stone Bank” and the myth of Sisyphus. The Stone Bank Project is not going to last an eternity — nor is it punishment. Instead, we are embracing our town’s history and this wonderful building and pushing the Stone Bank into the future.
Can you help? Dedicate a stone or send a donation. You don’t have to lift anything heavier that your pen — and you can help put the Stone Bank back together again.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
April 7, 2013
The Giver and the Gift
To learn more about poet James Russell Lowell, check out the Poetry Foundation’s biography.
Beauty and history are two other needs your “alms” can feed. Our work to preserve and restore the Stone Bank on Bottineau’s Main Street is moving ahead, but we really need your help to pay our stone mason and buy supplies. It’s a different kind of hunger — but one that must be met somehow.
How can you help?
Join our “Dedicate a Stone” campaign to help rebuild the back 20 feet of the bank over a new foundation.
Encourage your friends, family, neighbors and organizations to chip in. We truly need your help to make this happen.
Don’t leave us hanging!
We have 20 feet down and 20 feet left to rebuild. Built in 1900, the Stone Bank has borne witness to a growing and changing Bottineau over the years. Help us restore it and put it back to use so it can reflect the changes of light and passing clouds and Bottineau history for another century.
The Stone Bank is a beauty worth saving. Please make a gift or a stone dedication today.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog. Scroll down to the last two posts to see pictures of our stone mason at work last week.
April 5, 2013
I don’t know about you, but my back hurts just looking at these photos.
Stone mason Joe Whetter dismantled more of the North Wall today — and he did it by HAND!
Joe estimated that one stone he removed from the wall today weighed 450 pounds. And another was 350.
The North Wall also told another story. Joe found stones charred from a fire in the building next door — when it was Lloyd’s Fairway — in the 1970s. The fire was so intense that it had melted the mortar and cracked some of the stones. And Joe helped rebuild the concrete-block wall way back then.
Do you have a Stone Bank story? We would love to hear from you. This charming building connects us to our history.
Joe’s work on this project not only takes a strong back — but lots of dedication. Does his dedication inspire you to dedicate a stone? We hope so. With your help, the wall will come down, the foundation will be repaired and the back of the building will be restored. Dedicate a stone or send a donation today. (Joe has some fliers in his truck. Pick one up from the Chamber of Commerce or download one from the website.)
Thanks to Scott Wagar of the Bottineau Courant for the photos. And thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
April 3, 2013
With the weather finally improving, stone mason Joe Whetter has gotten back to work on the Stone Bank.
Job #1 is to take down the North Wall to make way for foundation work, and Joe has been moving stone for a couple of days. Behind the Stone Bank’s North Wall is the concrete block wall of the building next door. Joe says there is a gap of several inches between the buildings — whew. Much easier for him to remove stone that is NOT attached to the building next door. (Joe actually worked on the concrete block wall in the 1970s!)
And while he dismantles it, the North Wall is telling Joe a bit of its history. For instance, he said it is clear that the masons who put up this wall ran out of “medium” stones, because there were LARGE stones — 300 pounds — along the top rows. What does that mean? Joe suggests that the long-ago masons ran short of stones cut to the right dimensions, wanted to finish and just used what they had on hand to get the job done. Then the roof and the north parapet were covered in tar paper roofing and sat there for a good long time.
Speaking of moving stone — have you dedicated a stone yet? It’s a great way to- – a-hem – kill two birds with one stone. Dedicate a stone to a loved one or your class, business or best friend and help support the ongoing restoration work at the Stone Bank. Each stone dedication comes with a lovely commemorative certificate. We have one posted on StoneBank.org.
You don’t have to lift anything but your pen to the face of a check to help us keep moving those stones.
Thanks to Scott Wagar of the Bottineau Courant for keeping an eye on the project and sharing his pictures.
As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
March 18, 2013
It has been a snowy and cold… no, make that a COLD week in Bottineau.
As luck would have it, the Stone Bank looks good in white. Check out photos from this weekend and then compare them to the photo from 1903. On Main Street 110 years ago there were no cell phones, no motorized snowplows, no Internet. but they sure had a heck of a lot of snow (and a very charming stone bank).
March 14, 2013
We are rolling out our “Dedicate a Stone” campaign this weekend in Bottineau at the Spring Arts and Crafts Fair. It won’t feel like spring — because winter seems to want to hang around — but we hope to see you there.
Dedicating a stone to a loved one, your book club or business is a great way to put some oomph in our restoration project. As you probably know, our goal in 2013 is to put a new foundation under th back of the building and then put it back together again.
Once completed, we plan to have a “Wall of Honor” inside the restored building carrying the names of those whose generosity and dedications helped get this done.
We will also send you a lovely dedication certificate. See it posted on our website.
Stop by our table on Saturday, March 16, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. We would love to answer your questions about the project and have you dedicate a stone.
See you there — and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
February 12, 2013
Today is not only Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but it is also National Lost Penny Day.
According to giftypdia.com (all about gifts and celebrations): “The first U.S. penny was minted in 1787 and was made of pure copper and was designed by Benjamin Franklin. On February 12th, 1909, marking the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the first Lincoln penny was issued. It was the first regular issue U.S. coin to honor an actual person. On Lost Penny Day, gather all those pennies you have been collecting and cash them in.”
So, do you have a dish or jar full of pennies that you have set aside? Why not cash them in and give the proceeds to the Stone Bank for its restoration project?
“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” – Abraham Lincoln.
A gift to the Stone Bank, no matter how small, is a gift that will bring you recognition. You will be among those who shared the dream of putting this building back to use — and then helped make it happen.
If you are going to share your saved pennies with the Stone Bank, comment here with your total. This will be fun.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
February 9, 2013
Meet Fred, Bobbi and Joe.
Contractor. Architect. Stone Mason.
They are helping us get it done on the Stone Bank. We’ve got a lot to accomplish in 2013, putting a foundation under the back 20 feet of the building and then rebuilding that section. We have saved the stone and will reuse it for the facade. It is going to be SO COOL to have a working, snazzy building of hand-hewn stone on Main Street.
We still need to raise the money to finish the roof over the rebuilt section. The cost of extending the new roof is $4,000. Can you help? There’s a PayPal and a Razoo link on the right side of this page, and we are always ecstatic when someone takes the plunge. You won’t be sorry. In fact, your donation makes you a member of the Stone Bank family, and we are rock solid. So, thanks in advance.
If you see Fred, Bobbi or Joe, give ‘em a wink and a nod and wish them well as they work to make this dream come true.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
February 6, 2013
KX News stopped by the Stone Bank last week and did a nice overview story about the restoration project.
If you’re a new follower of this blog, take a few minutes to scroll through our old posts to see how far the project has come.
In 2013, our goal is to raise the back of the building over a new foundation and begin working to restore the interior. We are always happy to hear from our readers. Tell us what you think.
Thanks KX for taking an interest in the Stone Bank project and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.