November 3, 2013

It takes courage… and patience

Posted in Bottineau, Inside Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , , , at 7:11 pm by stonebankblog

Let’s see. You take a 100+ year-old building with some structural problems that the city is threatening to condemn.

So, uh, someone should do something, Right?

Turns out that someone is YOU and a couple of friends. So you jump in and get to work.

But the work is hard and progress is slow — but you push on. And on. And on.

Discouraged? Sometimes.

Quitting? NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

Stone Bank project in Bottineau, ND

Slogans and helpful sayings somehow are helpful. Here’s one.

So, no. It is not easy. But saving this historic gem is right and that makes it worth the angst.

Stone Bank, Bottineau, ND

This is how the Stone Bank looked in October 2011. The back wall was crumbling and something clearly had to be done.

So we made a plan to save the Stone Bank by fixing what was wrong. Part of the problem was caused by a roof that was more like a sieve. The other problem was that the back section of the building was constructed over shallow footings.

Stone Bank, Bottineau, ND

This is what the back 20 feet of the Stone Bank was sitting on — very shallow footings. At rear, you can see the back stone shelf supporting the back wall.

So with a great deal of physical labor and some time, we took the back section of the bank apart, stone by stone. (Some of the stones weighed more that 200 pounds.) The stones were labeled and saved and will be reused when we put the back section of the bank back together again.

Stone Bank, Bottineau, ND

The Stone Bank with the back wall and 20 feet of the south wall removed. The stone wall at rear in this photo was dismantled in 2012 and early 2013.

So, yes. This is hard. But our hearts are light. Because we are now rebuilding the back section of the building, starting with deep footings and a proper foundation. This is progress and it feels great.

Care to help? We have to pay our contractors and our taxes and insurance — so we are always happy to receive donations. You can buy a T-shirt or dedicate a stone. Or you can drop a bag of money on our doorstep. All the details on how to give are on our website.

Stay tuned for more photos.

Rome wasn’t built in a day — and the Stone Bank sort of has the same attitude.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog. We sure appreciate it when you “like” our posts.

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