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.


October 26, 2013

Action! Rebuild Underway

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , at 1:35 pm by stonebankblog

Yes. Yes. YES. The rebuild of the rear 20 feet of the Stone Bank is underway.

History: The back of the building was dismantled in 2011 and 2012, because it was sitting on shallow footings, and over time some structural issues had developed.

Solution: Dismantle the back of the building, excavate the crawl space, put down big-time footings and a basement. Next spring we will rebuild the back 20 feet and reattach the original stone façade.

This week:  Our crew compacted the soil, added fill and readied the site for building basement walls under the back section of the bank. And we are off!

Stone Bank, Bottineau, ND

Reinforced concrete footings were poured in Aug. 2013.


This week, Adrian Suchan removed soggy earth from the pit. Recent heavy rain saturated the site. With the soggy soil removed, new fill was added and compacted.


Concrete blocks were stacked on the rear footing. The area in front of the blocks  is covered in new fill ready to be smoothed.


Adrian Suchan runs the compaction machine past what was the support for the bank’s vault. This wall will be repaired in coming days so the building remains as solid as a rock.


Adrian works to compact the soil around the new footings. Once the site is prepped, the stone mason can begin building the foundation walls.


Crew member Scott Randall shoveled fill into the pit as Andrian packed down the soil. It was a beautiful day for outdoor work with the temperature near 50 degrees.


Adrian smooths the fill that Scott has tossed into the pit.


Getting there. Nearly ready for building the basement walls. The compacted earth is now level with the footings. The footing at center (from the blue bucket to the wheelbarrow) will support the wheelchair lift at the back of the building.


Scott tosses a shovelful of fill. He was skilled at not showering Adrian with the fill.


As sunset neared, the site was nearly ready for the rebuild. The lower section of the building is the original outside wall of the bank. The 20-foot addition from the 1930s was built over a crawl space. Now, the back section will have a proper basement and sturdy footings.

We are so excited to report this important progress on the Stone Bank. In the next few weeks, the basement walls will be up and the floor deck installed. We will pause for winter and the get back to rebuilding the back of the bank next spring. Can you help? Dedicate a stone, buy a T-shirt or just make a donation. Other than insurance and snow-removal costs, we have very little overhead. Your donation goes right into bricks and mortar for this project.

Donate on this page or on our website. It’s easy and you will be helping save a great building on Bottineau’s Main Street.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.