Monday, October 25, 2010

Preparing the lot for landscaping


Prior to today, a tall chain link fence surrounded the vacant lot at 1700 Vine Street. Parts were falling down and all of it looked uninviting and certainly didn't keep any trash out.


Today, the fence was removed in preparation for Keep Cincinnati Beautiful's Future Blooms Vacant Lot Stabilization Project. KCB has contracted a landscaping company to beautify vacant lots around the city with the mission of eliminating blight and reducing crime by beautifying streets and vacant lots.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, we're excited to work with you. Thank you for selecting our lot for the program. We really appreciate it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

removing rotten floor joists

You may recall from the December 2009 posts that approx 200 sq ft of floor and floor joists in the storefront were rotted and had to be removed. In December (10 months ago now!) we removed the rotted floorboards. This week, a crew removed the rotted joists and opened up the entire 1st floor. They'll be rebuilding the floor joists and laying a new plywood subfloor over the next week.

The problem of rotted floor joists appears to have originated from the tear-down of our former neighboring building - the one that used to sit on our now vacant lot. I don't know exactly when this building came down, but filling in its footprint with soil is the culprit of our rot. The vacant lot has soil that has been sitting above our rock foundation line, covering several courses of our building's brick. This is 1870s (or older) brick and is porous, as it was originally made for an interior wall (party wall shared with former building). So our porous brick has been absorbing all of the water from the soil covering it, causing extensive mold and rot in our floor joists. This is just another example of why OTR buildings NEED to be preserved instead of torn down.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back to Work

After a much needed vacation, which included a beautiful Irish wedding, we are back to work. Before winter arrives, we are hoping to scrape and paint the storefront, clean up the vacant lot with some help from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, and maybe even paint the east wall of the back building facing Hamer Street. And we still have a few finishing touches to complete on the roof deck.

This past weekend, Reid milled a new piece for the storefront facade. We had removed the old, rotted piece sometime last year when it pretty much fell apart in our hand. The only catch is that we have to remove the metal security grates in order to reattach it without notching it... nothing is ever simple, that's for sure.

Reid and I both scraped paint from the metal facade this past weekend. It's getting there, but it's going to take a lot of time to really clean this storefront up.