November 26, 2013

The Bank Will Rise Again

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , , , at 10:24 pm by stonebankblog

Sometimes it occurs to me that people might have trouble “giving” to a bank. So let’s be clear. The Stone Bank Project is about a building not a-hem bankers. (Not that all bankers are bad — but, well, you know.)

So here are a couple new photos showing the new foundation of the Stone Bank rising, where none was before.

The floor level of the bank building is about 3.5 feet above grade. That’s why we are adding a handicap entrance at grade in the rebuilt structure. When complete, the building will look almost exactly like it did before we started, but it will be updated to accommodate everyone. It’s rather exciting, and I think those long-ago builders would appreciate our efforts to make this building flexible and useful for generations to come.

If you appreciate our work to restore this wonderful building, feel free to make a donation. We need to pay our contractors, the insurance and snow removal. And more snow removal. And then some more. Last winter, we paid nearly $1,100 in snow removal alone.

Don’t forget, Dec. 3 is Giving Tuesday.

November 20, 2013

Exciting Times in Mud and Block

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , , at 1:14 am by stonebankblog

Uh-oh. Day 19 of National Blog Posting Month kind of slipped away. Here’s a post-19 post.

We have been covering a lot of ground during this challenge month, but it’s time to take it back to the bank. Today, we are focused on progress.

I am happy to report that we are making some.

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It’s easy to forget how far we have come. Since mid-2011, when we formed the nonprofit Touchstones and purchased the building, we have made steady progress. We started with an architectural assessment and cleared decades of accumulated “stuff” out of the building. Then we had the asbestos removed from the building, put a new roof on the front three-quarters, dismantled the back 20 feet of the building stone by stone, worked with our architect on a rebuilding plan, shored up the foundation of the building next door, dug a foundation for the back of the building — and, now, we are putting it back together again.

In addition, we have written grants, worked to persuade the City Council that we could save the building and restore it to a productive use. We have built a website, blogged and Tweeted away.

Inch by inch, donation by donation, we are cash-flowing this project — doing what we can, when we can.

We are glad you are along for the journey. It’s not exactly slow motion — but it is a journey on which we are learning a lot about history, tenacity and finishing what we start.

Can you help? Buy a T-shirt, dedicate a stone, make a contribution — every bit helps.

See you back here tomorrow — er, later today.