Sunday, May 16, 2010

They needed major surgery...but they pulled through and are looking better than ever


One of the most amazing of the remaining original details of 1700 Vine Street are the 9-foot tall pocket doors. However, you can see from the before pictures that a frustrated dog had chewed through one door and an idiot had sawn through another. We ended up finding the bottom half of the sawn through door nailed to another door (2nd picture), a ridiculously difficult way to cover a missing panel.

We thought it would be impossible to repair the two doors.

Then we met Richard. Formally trained in carpentry in England, he was able to rebuild the two doors, putting the two halves back together and patching the dog-chewed wood. He still has to replace and reglaze the glass, but they are well on their way to becoming the gleaming architectural gems they were meant to be.


Richard and Reid installed the two doors today to determine how well they fit and what adjustments will need to be made. We are now on the search for a replacement track that runs across the floor. It has been cut off and removed, but replacing it will be an important means of stabilizing the doors, keeping them from wobbling back and forth in the pockets.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's been a while, but we're still at it.

I had a 4-hour long certification test in toxicology that I had to take for work and studying for it really consumed a lot of my spare time over the past month.
But we're back to work this weekend and made some small accomplishments!

This weekend we rebuilt the broken chimney and tackled the reinstallment of the stone roof caps. These 150Lb+ stones were removed when the roof deck was built and had not yet been returned to their locations on top of the wall (mainly because we pushed off the top 3 feet of the wall). We thought ahead and used the lift (back in November) to bring them up to the 4th floor. Good thing, because some of the pieces are 6+ feet long and must weigh at least 150Lb.

Reid and I were able to lay mortar and place them back on top of the walls. And Reid rebuilt the chimney.

I started vacuuming the mortar joints to prepare them for new mortar and I was shocked to find several brick faces disintegrating into the vacuum! Masonry repair is certain to be the job that never ends...

New roof, rebuilt dormer with a Pella window, roof deck, skylights, and stone caps in place...this last picture actually looks like progress!