December 9, 2011
The Stone Bank Fights Back
Erase from your mind this phrase: “The Stone Bank is going to fall down.”
Even with encouragement to fall, the Stone Bank building is fighting back.
The Stone Bank’s roof beams are actually embedded in the stone walls. So, after careful consideration, Fred planned to open a space near the roof on the back wall, cut free those ceiling beams and drag them out through the opening.
Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it doesn’t trust our motives. Or maybe the Stone Bank just wants to be left alone. Because pulling down the stones and getting the beams out was very, very difficult work.
Fred sawed and pounded and hooked a chain between some stones and pulled with a loader. Then he pounded some more and pulled off roofing, etc.
The Stone Bank seemed to want to stay put.
In the end, Fred was able to pull down the top of the back wall and make a nice big opening in the roof.
But the roof beams, taking a cue from the stone wall, proved to be as stubborn. Even when cut through on both ends, those beams stayed put.
Finally, Fred (an engineer) got three roof beams to let go. But they didn’t come out the roof opening, he had to drop them inside instead.
At the end of the day, Fred called Joe the stone mason. They are going to meet Monday and see how best to proceed. (It is highly unlikely that the Stone Bank is going to help even a little bit.)
Because this is a targeted dismantling, we don’t want this work to cause a chain reaction of problems on the front part of the building (with its new roof). So, Joe and Fred will meet …
Our architect, Bobbi Hepper Olson, says it would have taken three years or so to build a stone structure this size. So, we have to respect the work that those workers did more than 100 years ago, and we have to vow to get this put together again — so it stands another 100 years.
P.S. Your Stone Bank blogger caught some video of part of the wall coming down.
Watch this space over the weekend to see it. The Stone Bank blogger’s fingers got VERY cold — no editing now. (The temp topped out at about 10 degrees today. Brrrr.)