December 9, 2011

The Stone Bank Fights Back

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:45 pm by stonebankblog

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.

Demolition on the Stone Bank in Bottineau is slow-going work.

Contractor Fred Kainz worked a chain through the roof and then through the mortar. The idea was that one tug with his loader and a row of stones would fall. That opening would be "perfect" for removing roof beams. But the Stone Bank resisted that plan -- like a dignified stone wall should.

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.

Stone Bank-Bottineau, where dismantling is difficult and all our contractors are above average.

Contractor Fred Kainz and the Stone Bank had a battle today. The Stone Bank apparently felt like standing, and Fred needed it to let go -- just a little bit.

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.

Stone Bank-Bottineau with stone and roof removed on Dec. 9, 2011

It took a while, but Fred did finally get some of the stone to drop off the back wall, and he did open the roof enough to liberate some beams. But they would not budge.

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.

Stone Bank, renovation, demolition, roofing, Bottineau, North Dakota

Fred cut the roof beams on both ends to detach them from the stone walls. But, even though they were no longer connected to the walls, they stayed in place. After several attempts to pull the beams through the roof opening, Fred opted for knocking them down inside the Stone Bank. And that's where they'll stay for the weekend.

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.)


1 Comment »

  1. Important detail. Fred was working with a sprained ankle — and he scrambled in and out of the loader, and up and down the scaffold multiple times. Bravo!

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