July 11, 2012

Coghlan Castle — The Next Step

Posted in Endangered buildings, Friends of Stone Bank, History, Photos, Updates tagged , , , at 12:51 pm by stonebankblog

$5 million! That’s how much it would take to completely repair and restore the Coghlan Castle near St. John, N.D.

Not going to happen, says Becky Leonard, the spark plug behind saving this striking and rare stone building.

Becky and other Coghlan Castle fans have worked hard to stabilize the building and to make critical repairs to keep it standing. More stone will be reattached to the facade — but, for now, that’s about where the project will stand.

This year’s goal is to install an interpretive sign near the castle, so interested passersby can stop, take a look and go away knowing “what the heck that building is.”

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I have misplaced my notes from my lunch with Becky, who has been involved in historic preservation for years. But she is to be complimented for pushing hard to save this building.

She said the the architect hopes to some day finish one room in the castle, so people can get inside and see it. Right now, the stone restoration work will continue and the interpretive sign will likely be placed this summer.

The truth is that we can’t always bring a building all the way back — but this is a great intermediary stop. Save the structure and keep dreaming.

I often think of the pioneers and dreamers who built these fantastic stone buildings for us to enjoy more than 100 years later. Dream on.

If I ever win the lottery — I’m sending a big, fat donation to the Coghlan Castle restoration.

Here’s a link to a National Park Service site about the Coghlan Castle.

And, here’s a link to an earlier Stone Bank Blog post that shows how we are repairing the Stone Bank’s walls in much the same way as employed at the Coghlan Castle.

What do you think? We’re always interested to hear from readers.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.

February 13, 2012

What Comes Next?

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Renovation, Stone Work tagged , , , , , at 11:22 pm by stonebankblog

Your Stone Bank family is pleased at the progress we’ve made on saving our 1890s bank building. But what comes next?

Rebuilding, of course.

But that is going to take some time and — a bit of money. Quite a bit money.

As the back of the building was recently being dismantled, we got to see what was inside those two-foot-thick walls. Riprap, baby.

Inside the two-foot-thick walls at the Stone Bank

At the bottom of this picture you can see the "face stones" of the Stone Bank. The stuff inside the bank's walls is riprap -- stone, sand, brick and other material.

When the back section of the building is rebuilt — the area inside the walls will be very different. Concrete blocks will be used and the face stones will be placed atop them.

Here’s a picture of the Coghlan Castle near St. John, N.D., and it shows how the face stone is being reapplied over concrete blocks in that project.

Coghlan Castle near St. John, ND

The work to restore the Coghlan Castle shows the construction technique that we'll use on the Stone Bank. The bank's dismantled walls will be rebuilt of concrete blocks, too.

Here’s a link to and National Park Service site about the Coghlan Castle.

It’s a great project to save another marvelous North Dakota landmark. And our stone mason says that structure was in much worse condition than ours — and it’s being saved. We take that as a cue to keep moving forward.

Feeling generous? We have a PayPal link on our website: http://StoneBank.org

We love the encouragement.