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I've always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. ♦ Jorge Luis Borges

Renovation Update | September 22, 2017

September 22 | Spacklers arrive on Thursday, carting heavy buckets of spackle. They wear stilts and spring about the floor. One shoves our phone box (which was hanging by a tether) into the rack and knocks out the system. Just another day in Paradise. Masons lay bricks for the bike pad, which will match the look of the front walkway. The A/C craps out -- a giant block of ice is forming inside one of the ducts, the result of sheetrock dust which also clogs the filter. The system is overloaded. They tell us that we cannot use the air conditioning until the following day, then report back later that the ice has melted, new filters have been installed, faulty wiring re-wired, and the A/C is back in action. This day has certainly taken a turn for the better.

September 21 | A large crew sweeps in at 7:15am to clean up the job site and rid it of all sheetrock debris. Sheetrock dust is insidious -- it settles everywhere and leaves white footprints on the carpet in the functional side of the library. Elevator installers continue to move up the shaft, fastening tracks and installing a platform. It's mind-boggling work, but they have assured me that the silo is perfectly plumb -- a testament to our superb masons, Ed Cook's crew. Larry from Iron Age Construction visits to show me a sample book of railing designs for the front entrance. Technically, we don't need them, but I think it helps people to have an added sense of security when navigating the incline. I settle on a simple black powder-coated iron rail with four posts. Larry  promises to get me a price by Monday.

September 19 - 20 | Sheetrockers return, elevators installers finally removed the girder that was blocking most of the Quiet Study Annex passage, and electricians install an EXIT sign and fire alarm panel.On Wednesday, electricians continue the painstaking work of identifying every cable run, while masons frame out and pour concrete for a bike rack pad out front. By the end of the day, all of the sheetrock will be installed -- a milestone of sorts.

September 18 | Sheetrockers take a day off to allow the electricians to hang additional lights so that the gallery wall gets a full wash. Gutters and downspouts were mysteriously installed one evening last week, and they really complete the front entrance. Electricians return to resolve lighting, which was not installed to wash the gallery wall. I draw a floorplan for the room in marker on the concrete floor to help Bob Lutz of Valentine Electric understand what he is lighting.

September 11 - 14 | The elevator installers have commandeered our Community Room with tools and oversized parts. The elevator is actually built inside the shaft, and the whine of the drill is eerily reminiscent of the dentist's office (oh joy). Sheetrockers arrived on the 12th and have almost completed the second floor. Everything seems smaller, but brighter. The automatic door serviceman arrived to assure us that once the power box was electrified, a mere push would activate the automated feature. The new target completion date is end of October, latest Thanksgiving.

September 5 - 7 | At long last, after the long Labor Day weekend, the elevator installers arrive -- five guys in bright blue T-shirts from D + D Elevator. They commandeer the Community Room for their equipment and supplies. It's going to be a long eight weeks! The siding crew continues to install Hardiplank and trim. Architect, Michael Esmay, visits on Thursday to catch up.

August 27 - 29 | Electricians returned on Wednesday and Thursday to tie up loose ends after inspection. Siding is completed below the gable end of the second story office suite. Sheetrock was delivered on Friday. The crew had to take out the windows above the entrance so a crane could bring the 16-foot panels to the second floor. Two 4 x 16 ft panels weigh 280 lbs.

August 25 - 26 | On Monday, fiberglass insulation was padded into all walls and ceilings and cellulose insulation was blown into the ceiling above the Quiet Study Annex. Carmine of Total Plumbing, Dave and I discussed ordering fixtures. Our pineapple-themed house number arrives from the Chatham Sign Shop in Massachusetts. Pineapples were a sign of welcome in colonial times.

August 23 | The long-awaited elevator is scheduled to begin installation on Tuesday, August 29th (6 months and counting). Insulation is scheduled for this Friday with sheetrocking to begin the following Monday. Today we are testing the formidable copper pendant fixture that had been hanging in the Children's Room as a possible front entry statement!

August 22 | As of Monday, August 21st, electricians have left the building! Siders have moved to the north face, which has finally been stripped bare of all loose and errant cables. The new stairs were installed early on Saturday, August 19th. Railings will come after sheetrocking.

August 17 | Light Tower arrives promptly at 9am to remove their equipment from a unsightly wall-mounted panel and place it in our new rack. The ethernet cable which required five field visits to cut, rerun, "term" and remove is finally out from under the portico, where it will no longer interfere with siding the north face of the building. The stairs arrive a day early, and Dave's crew is here to receive and store them. I meet with Carmine to finalize plumbing fixtures. John from Reddi-Alarm pops in to confirm the location of the security alarm panel. Design Air continues to install air conditioning ductwork and troubleshoot the finicky AC unit in the Behringer Room. All this before high noon. I never knew there were so many models and styles of wall-mounted restroom hand dryers.

August 14 - 16 | On Monday, electricians hustle to place conduit to the automatic door opening fixtures when the technician shows up to install them above the front and inside vestibule doors. Blue and white handicapped push plates are also located. Framers cut a hole in the east facing gable and place a stained glass window panel there that came from an estate sale in Texas. On Tuesday, Jorge and Tino cut and install an old support timber on the second floor to replace the one that we had hoped to splice with a lower half. They will add back the angled supports and wooden pegs (tenons) to restore to re-create authenticity. The roofing crew continues to side the elevator tower and other portions of the facade -- it is slow and painstaking labor, since siding is not their primary skill-set. We move the book drop chute three times to keep if away from the edge of the portico's brick floor. A white Azek border now frames the front door. We are meeting today to nail down details about the front gable treatment. Edwin the electrician shows me a two-inch recessed light for the vestibule and I approve.

August 7 - 10 | Air conditioning technicians get their ducts in a row, while framers build a barrel vault in the vestibule. I find books in the new bin even though it's not ready for prime time. Good thing I looked!

August 4 | Siders continue facing the southwest part of the building, while a framer cuts a slot for the bookdrop chute just to the left of the front door. Our new bookdrop will be positioned inside the building -- no more freestanding outside return.

August 2 - 3 | Electricians arrive early to continue running conduit. A siding crew gets rained out and continues on Thursday with the exterior base of the Quiet Study Annex. The interior front entry door is mounted. I meet with Cindy of Blauvelt Wallcoverings to finalize window treatments for the Quiet Study area.

July 29 - August 1 | On Saturday, Steve from Swift Acoustics Ceiling, finished installing the metal grid for the ceiling sheetrock. Electricians returned on Monday to run more conduit. Three antique brass pendant lights arrived for the circulation desk. On Tuesday, the framing crew returns for some miscellaneous chores in anticipation of the siding crew, which are expected the following day.

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