April 22, 2013

Move Over Sisyphus

Posted in Dismantling the back, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , at 12:35 am by stonebankblog

Moving stone — successfully.  That’s the story this week at the Stone Bank.

Stone Bank Bottineau ND

Stone mason Joe Whetter removes a stone from the North Wall. Blackened stones behind him show damage from a fire in the 1970s.

After a couple weeks of work, Joe has completed taking down the North Wall — stone by heavy stone.

The North Wall of the Stone Bank has been removed. Wall at rear is the exterior wall of the building next door. Foreground shows remaining raised foundation on south of Stone Bank and floor joists.

The North Wall of the Stone Bank has been removed. Wall at rear is the exterior wall of the building next door. Foreground shows remaining raised foundation on south of Stone Bank and floor joists.

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.

Stone Bank dismantling project in Bottineau, ND

This picture from October 2012, shows the North Wall exposed during the dismantling process. Cold temps and heavy snow stalled work on the project in the fall — but we are moving now.

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.

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April 7, 2013

Stone Quote No. 8

Posted in Dismantling the back, History, Photos, Stone Quotes tagged , , , , at 12:00 pm by stonebankblog

The Giver and the Gift

James Russell Lowell, and American poet, 1819-1891

James Russell Lowell, an American poet, 1819-1891.

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.

Want to know more about dedicating a stone? Click here and visit our website to see our lovely commemorative certificate.

Don’t leave us hanging!

The edge of the Stone Bank

The edge of the south wall dismantled in 2012. The wall will be rebuilt over a new foundation in 2013, with your support.

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.

Stone Bank Bottineau, ND

The Stone Bank showing the jagged edge at rear where 20 feet of the building was taken down.

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

Really Heavy Lifting

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, History, Photos, Pictures at 1:07 am by stonebankblog

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!

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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

Behind the Wall … Another Wall

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, History, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , , at 11:15 pm by stonebankblog

Progress!

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.

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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.