July 26 - 27 | Electricians continue running conduit on the second floor. The ceiling is framed out for the main floor vestibule, staff room, and restroom in preparation for sheetrocking. Because of the ceiling expanse, a metal grid is installed by a subcontractor who specializes in large spans. He plans to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) and requires that the rooms are completely cleared of all construction debris to accommodate his rolling scaffold.
July 18 - 20 | More electrical conduit was run in the new office suite. Dave and the boys came to install the front door. They installed the inside door where the exterior door is supposed to be. No harm, though, since they have to remove it anyway. Tomorrow, the Building Inspector, Automatic Door Opener Rep, and Lightower Cable Guy are all due in the morning.
July 15 - 17 | On Saturday, the masonry crew arrived to install herringbone pattern bricks for the walkway leading to the front portico. Around 2:30pm, they ran out of bricks and packed up shop. I weeded the front yard while they labored, so I could snap photos of the work in progress. Early Monday morning, the cherry doors arrived for the front entrance. Three of the framers were pulled off another job to accept delivery and bring the doors into the building where they await installation.
July 12 - 14 | On Wednesday, I visited Fergusson's plumbing showroom in Northvale to look at faucet fixtures and sinks. Thursday, electricians spray paint white crosses on the floor to indicate where lights will be installed overhead to help the framing crew with sheetrocking. A quiet, rainy Friday the 14th. The front entrance doors were set to arrive earlier than expected, but due to the weather, the contractor decided to delay their delivery. On Saturday, the masons arrive to brick the ramp to the front entrance.
July 7 - 11 | On Friday, a floor crew installs reclaimed pine floorboards in my new office that were salvaged from Barry's old office. None of the boards are the same width and thicknesses also vary, which creates a painstaking day of flooring at a rate of one board per hour! The crew will return to finish the floor after sheetrock and spackling are completed. On Saturday, the masonry crew pours the ramp at the front entrance. Meanwhile, roofers continue to install copper sheathing on the elevator roof -- a tedious and perilous undertaking (it's slippery and hot). I've been told the front entrance doors are due to arrive in two weeks. On July 10th, Brian from Blooming Grove Stair, the contractor and I finalize the look of newel posts and railings for the stairs leading to the children's floor. Architect, Mike Esmay, pops in for a visit, and all pending questions are answered. Later in the day, the backhoe crew trims out that part of the driveway that abuts the cobblestones and lays in hot asphalt, which they roll and tamp into place. Next up: Choosing sinks and toilets.
July 3 - 6 | Electricians continue to reconnect A/C units -- we finally restore air conditioning to the main floor. Another crew frames out the new StoryCraft Annex and all manner of construction debris and errant furniture is removed from all work areas in preparation for framing. On Thursday, July 6th, John from Floormaster and I plan out how we will repurpose the salvaged wide pine floorboards for my office. The masonry crew creates an armature for cobblestones that they set along the edge of the driveway. There is talk of starting the walkway on Saturday.
June 29 - July 1 | I visit another of the contractor's jobsites on 9W in Piermont to look at newel posts and stair rails. On Saturday, a crew frames out the demolished office space that will become the children's StoryCraft Cottage.
June 27 - 28 | Two electricians spend an entire day connecting the A/C units, both in the new office space on the second floor and outside at the Western Highway end of the Quiet Study Porch. There is the promise of having A/C in the Behringer Room and the first floor but not until late Friday, a 90-degree day.
June 26 | Plumbers disconnect the old sinks and use a blowtorch to cut and remove a rather large copper conduit that fed water to the toilets.
June 24 | Demolition of the future StoryCraft Room continues. The crew also frames out the A/C units and ductwork in the storage area, leaving access compartments for servicing the air conditioning units.
June 19 - 21 | Demolition continues behind the temporary wall. The walls to the restroom and closet come down and reveal a floor which sags more than two inches in the middle.
June 18 | The wall on Saturday never got built, but Barry and I cleared out my office, working well into the wee hours of Saturday morning (nothing like the proverbial gun to the head). Instead, the renovation crew fashioned a temporary enclosure that will allow access to the main level toilet, once the restroom on the second floor is demolished.
June 16 -17 | More data runs are installed and the A/C crew finishes up running ductwork for the second floor unit. The contractor tells us that he is coming for my office on Saturday. They will be building a wall 12 inches out from the existing wall to seal off the construction zone, which will encompass my office and the adjacent restroom and storage closet.
June 14 | I meet with Robin of Foley Signs to preview dimensional lettering that will arc over the main entrance and spell out: "Blauvelt Free Library." The phone installer scampers across the roof to rerun all the scattered cables draped across the eaves in an effort to make order from chaos.
June 12 | Roofers install the last of three skylights under a blazing sun. Air conditioning techs labor in the heat as they continue to install ductwork in the new office suite. I meet with the two contractors, the architect and lighting planner to hash out expensive upgrades required for a beefed-up electrical system. We approve a new design for the handicapped pathway and steps to the front portico.
June 8 - 9 | Roofers continue with the section over the front entrance, while framers continue to trim out the distinctive architectural details that make up the front entry portico.
June 5 - 7 | Several days of rain with no signs of life. On June 6th, the masonry crew cut back a sandstone wall in the basement to make room for the staircase to the Community Room. On Wednesday, framers set to work framing out the roof over the front porch, while air conditioning ductwork is laid in the new office suite.
June 4 | On Saturday, a framing crew arrived midday to install the "spring eave" frontispiece over the entry. The spring eave is an early Dutch roof design characterized by gently flared end points. They expect to continue framing the rest of the porch roof on Tuesday.
May 31 - June 1 | Electricians and plumbers continue to install pipes and conduit while the framed walls are open before the sheetrock goes up. Bids for an upgraded phone system are received.
May 31 - June 1 | Electricians and plumbers continue to install pipes and conduit while the framed walls are open before the sheetrock goes up. Bids for an upgraded phone system are received.
May 27 - 28 | Framers work to fashion an iconic architectural detail over the front entry -- a gabled roof element that flares slightly at the base -- what is known as a "spring eave," a defining characteristic of Dutch buildings in colonial times. This piece requires highly skilled craftsmen who form the shape out of plywood six times, meld the layers together, then use a router to smooth the edges. After the holiday, they will continue to trim the surface and edges using AZEK board and affix it with aluminum staples -- a painstaking labor. AZEK is a PVC product with a wood-like appearance that is impervious to water and insect damage.
May 25 - 26 | The A/C ductwork is not installed as the plans indicate, but rather sprawls to the left and right of the unit taking up a considerable portion of the space we had designated for storage. The installer claims that what is indicated on the plans does not work in the space, so what follows is several minutes of negotiation with the architect and contractor until a reasonable compromise is reached. Dave Sirois will build us an enclosure around the ductwork over which storage shelves can be mounted, and we'll eliminate one of the doors into the storage area, which adds extra space on either side of the wall. No harm, no foul. On Friday, Ed Cook's crew arrived to remove a bush where Orange and Rockland installed a rather comprehensive set of gas pipes on our west wall. In one day, I have five meetings with two phone system reps, a sculptor, lighting designer and A/C technician.
May 20 - 24 | On Tuesday, Ecuadorean roofers spend all day peeling off the old shingles and laying down tar paper. I spend 20 minutes with Edward Corey picking out the right shingle color, which involves sending his crew up on the high roof to hold up samples, where they cavort atop the roof like mountain goats. On Wednesday, I meet with a phone system installer, because our phones have reached the end of their life and the best time to lay cable is before the sheetrock goes up. Meanwhile, air conditioning ductwork is installed for the new office suite.
May 18 - 19 | Masons labor to create a pattern of paving bricks at the front entrance. Other crew members frame out the wall that bracket the stairwell leading from the lobby to the Community Room. The electrical consultant met with lighting company reps, the contractor and myself to walk the site and finalize a lighting plan. On Friday, masons continued with the brickwork and also tore out the three small windows in the Community Room to make it more movie friendly. And on Saturday, Hector and Leo completed the brickwork for the base of the front entry portico. It is so lovely, I could just cry.
May 15 - 17 | On Monday, a concrete slab was poured for the portico and the slab inside the front entry. Air conditioning technicians labored to reinstall the unit that services the children's floor in advance of the coming heat wave. Wednesday, and the AC has power but does not cool with back-to-back Toddler Time sessions on the children's floor. Back to the drawing board. Framers carve out a new space for an alcove addition in the office suite that will be ideal for small meetings -- Book Club, Scout Leaders, Friends Group. Meanwhile, dirt is being trucked and tamped down to fill back the south lawn.
May 8 - 9 | Jorge asks me if the library is haunted. When I assure him that it isn't (I've been here every hour of the day and night without incident), he tells me he's seen a ghost. The floor to the basement is opened up and Jorge claims to have seen a person walking toward him. When the figure headed for the Community Room (access to which is blocked), Jorge ran to the opening to have a look, and no one was there. I tell him, maybe it was an electrician or plumber -- they're sometimes in the basement without us knowing, but Jorge swears he was the only tradesman on the jobsite. It has been my experience that poltergeists are often provoked by home renovation -- I guess they don't like to see their family home disturbed -- and this is the mother of all renovations. I have friends who tell me that their ghosts often hurl tools across the room.
May 3 - 4 | Excavation of walls continues on the second floor. The basement ceiling is opened up from the main floor to prepare for the stairwell leading to the Community Room. Meanwhile, a temporary staircase is installed leading up to the new second floor, so we will gain a secondary means of egress. The workers' faces shown the strain of this backbreaking work. The contractor, architect and I meet to review progress in the new second floor wing and tweak some of the details to accommodate our ever-evolving vision.
May 1 - 2 | Jorge, Tino and Jordan tore up carpeting and wrestled with plywood sheets that were glued fast to the floor in the second floor children's room entry. When the dust had settled, their Herculean effort revealed the original wide plank pine floorboards. Be still my heart. They also opened up the walls where the elevator empties into a second floor lobby and flows into the children's room.
April 26 - 29 | Framers installed cottage-style windows in the new office suite and on the first floor for the circulation desk and new staff restroom, while masons broke up the cement slab in the entryway and filled in gaps in the floor. On Saturday, a two-man crew installed a temporary wall to seal off a portion of the Children's Room adjacent to the new second floor space, so they could open up the plaster walls and break through the lath. Architect, Michael Esmay, and I examined the site and brainstormed about keeping the exposed timbers instead of creating the archways as originally planned. Our proposed scheme would highlight the original structure and preserve the charming details that only an extensive demolition would reveal.
April 24 - 25 | In a feat of engineering, framers worked to level the very uneven lobby floor, which left the main floor restroom two inches higher than the surrounding area (problem-solving for that issue currently in progress). Rotted timbers were removed and replaced. Masons shored up the floor by adding piers in the basement and replaced a missing portion of the foundation. On Tuesday, they added new old brick to the fireplace chimney above the level of the old ceiling. Contractor, Dave Sirois, surprised me by installing an historic reclaimed piece of timber over the vestibule entrance. Made my day!
April 18 - 21 | Masons poured a concrete platform for the generator which is as big as a schoolbus and capable of powering the entire facility in the event of a power outage. We intend that the library serve as a safe house for families disadvantaged by a blackout. Meanwhile, roofers continued to paper the new roof joining the elevator to the existing building. The lobby floorboards were torn up to reveal the original support beams in the oldest part of the building. The initials "HC" were boldly etched in large black letters on one of the girders, and I got excited thinking about the craftsman who had so proudly initialed his handiwork, until one of the workers informed me that "H" and "C" were there to identify the hot and cold water lines. On Thursday, the crew framed out connecting walls between the elevator and second floor. Another team spent the last two days installing a door wall closing off the Quiet Study Annex from the elevator lobby and are continuing down that hall laying new joists for the floor above. Access to the Mary Behringer Room has been cut off from the inside, and patrons hoping to use the public computers must exit the library and re-enter through the Community Room. Our staff refrigerator is back there, which makes for some grumpy employees.
April 15 -17 | The roof was papered on the Saturday before Easter, so the green tarp is a thing of the past. On Monday, two crews are hard at work -- one pulling off the roof and walls to bump out the front desk and staff room, and the other prepping the cement block elevator tower by overlaying the corners with wood lath so it can be sided with HardiePlank. One of the framers was blown off his ladder when he tilted the sheet of plywood just as a gust of wind rose up, throwing him 16 feet to the ground. Luckily he landed on his feet, the panel of wood breaking his fall. Another minor miracle.
April 10 - 12 | 70-degree weather for the next few days helps move the framing along. The ridgepole and rafters over the second floor office suite are installed and the front of the building is taking on a whole new look. Plywood is laid for the roof and walls. The view from within begins to suggest the layout of the office and storage areas.
April 5 - 7 | The beautiful ceramic tiles it took me ten dealers to locate in 2012 were torn up yesterday in a crush of clinking porcelain and dust. Old floorboards were revealed as much the worse for wear with round holes and one ragged gap that marked where a sink and toilet had once sat in front of the present-day circulation desk when the fireplace wall marked the east end of the house. The temporary door around the main floor restroom was removed, and I am told that the roof will come off on Saturday so the crew can frame out the new office suite and storage area over the main entrance. One of the workers (Jorge) handed me a scrap of thick paper with the name "Johan Raab" written in blue pencil and the name "Hutton Brothers" printed in black ink. Johannes "John" Raab bought the house in 1864 and assumed ownership of the general store, continuing as proprietor until 1882. He was the father of Hypolit J. Raab who was the father of Catherine Raab, the last of the family to live in the homestead. She vacated the premises on Halloween day in 1958. The Hutton Brothers ran a lumber yard in Nanuet at the end of Main Street. According to a newspaper clipping found online, they sold 16 foot long pine, spruce and hemlock boards in either 4 inch or 8 inch widths. Their names were (I am not making this up) Chester, Lester and Sylvester.
April 3 - 4 | I'm sure progress is being made, judging by the incessant whine of the saw and the pounding of the nails. Steel support posts were delivered and await installation. Masons are building a framework around the top of what remains of our chimney, so they can patch it with concrete and then lay in new old bricks up to the elevated ceiling line. Our landscaper was able to prep the Japanese Maple for its move to the front yard, owing to the fact that a 60 kw generator will take its place on the south lawn. Generator and living greenery are not a good combination, as generator exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide.
March 29 - 31 | Some of the heavy-duty joists were laid for the second floor. On Friday, we anticipate a delivery of upright steel columns to support our new overhead girders.
March 27 | Raining and framing are the order of the day!
March 25 | Our renovation crew has uncovered original wide plank flooring above the lobby. They have been instructed to painstakingly remove the boards for reuse (purpose to be determined). They are covered in a layer of filth, so it is left to the imagination to envision what these tongue and groove pine planks will look like once they are restored. Framers are scheduled to arrive on Monday.
March 20 - 24 | On the first day of Spring, our external chimney is demolished as we make way for a new office suite and storage area above the front entry. Demolition continues on Tuesday with the promise that this is the last day of destruction for this phase. Framing is the next order of business, but will depend on the weather as the roof will be exposed.
March 15 - 17 | Demolition crews arrive early to tear out the circulation desk and ceiling panels in the fiction area and staff room. Two large holes are drilled into the floor where footings will be poured for the steel uprights that will support a ceiling girder. The Reference desk is covered by a platform to prevent the structure from flying debris once the ceiling is removed. The cabinetmaker arrives to remove the custom cabinetry over the Ref desk. Barry's office is demolished. A square opening cut into the east wall provides a view of the floor below. Specifications for the elevator are finally decided -- cabin style, lighting, laminate and door color.
March 14 | It seems to be snowing a bit. Barry and I seize the opportunity to evacuate his office of its last load of goods and cart them up to the attic. Backbreaking work!
March 11 - 13 | Controlled mayhem ensues. On Thursday, we received a delivery of 121 bins from our library system and set about emptying bookshelves, working long into the night. Optimum arrived to activate our newly placed lines, and on Friday, March 10th, two technicians from RCLS relocated our computers and peripheral equipment. Large sections of the collection were moved and shifted until we had managed to cram everything into four small rooms. On the 11th and 13th, a "deck" was built outside our east-facing window in the fiction room so that framers could open up a "door" in the wall through which they could bring building materials. When ceiling panels were removed, an empty beehive fell from the rafters (that would explain all the dead yellow jackets in the light fixtures). A temporary wall was erected to seal off the Mary Behringer Room's main entrance, which means we all must trek out onto the unheated Quiet Study Porch in order to reach it. We are without power around 10am while Orange and Rockland work with Valentine Electric to switch us over to our new upgraded electrical system.
March 6 - 8 | So much is happening, it's hard to keep up. Plumbers laid pipe under the new front entry for the new kitchen area in the staff room. On March 6th, masons prepared the inside of the elevator shaft for guide rails to be installed. On February 7th and 8th, the area around the foundation was packed with dirt and tamped down. Meanwhile, electricians labored to install Cat 6 lines to accommodate the relocation of our system hardware and also installed new phone lines. The place is in total disarray.
March 1 + 2 | The masonry crew put up the concrete block foundation for the front porch and handicapped walkway. The principal trades meet to formulate phasing from here on in. We have until the end of the week to remove everything from our fiction and staff rooms and lobby. Yikes!
February 27 + 28 | Masons and the backhoe crew arrived early to dig out our front entryway, removing the old walkway and railing. We prepped the Red Door entrance with rubber matting and a new deadbolt lock. Many visitors waxed nostalgic, remarking that they used that door when they were kids. On Tuesday, masons poured concrete footings for the porch. We're not in Kansas anymore!!
February 14 - 23 | Warmer than usual weather is fast eroding our snow mountain. Plans for footings to be laid for the front entrance bump-out are now scheduled for Monday, February 27th. A storage container was ordered so we could load up furniture, equipment, and our worldly possessions while our quarters are torn asunder. Three Adirondack-themed sconces arrived for the stairwell leading from the lobby to the Community Room. Please note that once work on the entrance begins, we will be using the Red Door to enter the building.
February 15 | An elevator company representative came to re-inspect the elevator shaft. Very quiet on all other fronts. Pendant lights have been ordered for the Quiet Study Annex. Task lights for the wall-length counter in that room arrived today -- and they're awesome!
February 9 - 13 | Snow played havoc with our renovation schedule. Electricians labored to dig snow out of trenches filled with conduit. On Monday, February 13th, masons arrived to pour footing for the front entry extension, then wisely postponed their plans when faced with an icy driveway and mounds of snow. A county agent came to inspect the electrical system. That same afternoon, electricians connected the main transfer panel to the secondary panels.
February 6 - 7 | Workers planned for the laying of a new gas line and parked a backhoe named "Josie" on our front lawn. Bushes will be removed alongside the west wall of the building to accommodate the construction. New plantings and a path will follow when all is completed. The contractor tells me that soon enough we'll be moving our entire operation into the west wing of the building with the red door acting as our main entrance for the duration of the construction.
February 1 - 2 | New electricals are being tested and brought online, which means we are without power for periods of time. On February 2nd, deep troughs were dug at the street side of the property for the upgraded electrical system, which runs underground. The location of the 60 kw generator is a hotly debated topic. The "yard" is in a total state of disruption.
January 31 | A roofing crew showed up during the snowstorm and wisely decided not to climb up the snow-covered elevator tower to install a protective layer or "building envelope," which will help reduce energy dissipation, condensation damage, wood rot and mold.
January 27 - 30 | A representative from the elevator manufacturer came to measure and approve the shaft. Everything was in order except for the sump pump compartment which has to be moved to the other side of the cabin. The elevator was roofed with plywood sheets on Saturday, January 28th and Monday, January 29th.
January 25 - 26 | At 4pm Wednesday, the masonry crew proudly announced that the tower is finished. I let out a whoop and marvel at the size of the thing. Conduit for the fire alarm system continues to be installed with fire panels and pull-down boxes popping up all over the building. The rough elevator door opening outside the Community Room is being refined.
January 21 - 24 | On Saturday, workers strung a tarp across the top of the elevator shaft in preparation for the coming nor'easter. Electricians wired the Quiet Study Annex for smoke detectors and ceiling pendants. In the basement, the masonry crew cut a door for the elevator into the west-facing wall of the vestibule outside the Community Room and poured concrete slabs in the elevator maintenance room and as a base for the new staircase leading up to the main level. Jackhammering through concrete block is every bit as loud and bone rattling as you might imagine. On Tuesday morning, electricians ran conduit into the elevator shaft.
January 19 | At 7:30 in the morning, electricians are swarming all over the building to figure out how to snake conduit through our unforgiving stone walls. There is a lot of head scratching and cell phone calls. By midday, a path for fire alarm and electricals has been created inside the casings covering the ceiling beams. Meanwhile, the tower workers continue to raise the elevator shaft, which is about 5 feet short of its full height. Water which had collected in the base of the shaft was pumped out.
January 16 - 17 | Rain forces the tower builders to cease with 15 more feet left to construct. Cut-outs in the tower for the two elevator doors bring rain and cold air into the building. A steady stream of water pours into the shaft from a wayward downspout. Electricians are about to wire the porch for the work counter when the architect arrives, and we rethink the position of the outlets -- no use forcing patrons to their knees as they crawl under the tabletop to plug in their laptops. Constant decisions to be made.
January 11 - 13 | The concrete block elevator shaft rises anew. On Friday, framers cut through the roofline of the Behringer Room and porch so that masons could snug the shaft up against the building. Meanwhile, masons labored below grade to shore up the natural sandstone wall in the elevator's maintenance room.
January 4 - 5 | Seven concrete steps were framed and poured at the base of the basement staircase leading down to the soon-to-be elevator lobby. On Thursday, the masonry crew cut through the concrete block wall to create a door into the elevator's maintenance room (located under the Quiet Study Annex). Blocks will also be delivered for continuing construction of the elevator shaft, scheduled for Monday, January 9th. Oh, and the flowering cherry tree from the front lawn has finally found a new home nestled beneath the towering pine out back.
December 28 - January 3 | A concrete wall is being constructed in the basement, which will serve as the foundation wall for the new staircase. Seven concrete steps will be set at the base of the staircase with wooden steps continuing to the lobby. The masonry crew punched a hole in the west-facing cellar wall where a smaller than standard size door will provide access to the rest of the basement.
December 27 - 30 | A weather-beaten merry-go-round horse has been installed in the lobby to enhance the temporary support posts (we're going with a western theme). Upper and lower windows have been installed in the Quiet Study Annex. Masonry crew proceeding with demolition of original sandstone brick wall in basement and widening of space to accommodate a new staircase. Jackhammers have been blazing, and if you've visited or called, the noise is deafening. Footings for walls for staircase are being poured today (Friday). There are plans to recommence with the building of the elevator shaft on Monday, January 2nd. Happy New year one and all!
December 26 | Framers installed temporary 6 x 6-inch columns in the lobby to provide additional support, which necessitated the removal of the display table and the relocation of other furniture to make room for new windows (tentatively arriving Tuesday). Once the windows arrive, they will be installed in the framed out Quiet Study Annex -- or as we like to call it, "The Chamber of Supreme Quietude."
December 21 - 23 | On Wednesday, footings were poured to support new concrete block walls being laid in the basement to shore up the floor above, in preparation for the original sandstone block wall (circa 1752) to be removed. As the contractor was showing me his crew's handiwork, I backed into the wet cement and left behind two footprints. A dumpster was delivered midday Thursday, and the new opening at the foot of the stairs facilitated the removal of mounds of accumulated metal shelving and other detritus from the basement. Architect, Michael Esmay, visited and made some adjustments to the depth of the cement block wall. On Friday, framers arrived to remove the existing cellar stairs and shore up the main floor from below with temporary supports.
December 19 - 20 | On Monday, workers sealed off access to the lower floor lobby where they exposed the cement block wall and broke through the north wall at the foot of the stairs outside the Community Room. They "tunneled" in about 12 feet to carve out space for the new staircase that will descend from the main floor (where the stairs currently go up to the Children's Floor). The crew is breaking apart the red sandstone bedrock with a jackhammer and need to penetrate a total of 27 feet to accommodate the new stairs.
December 14 - 16 | On Wednesday, as dusk closed in, the "rat slab" was poured for the Quiet Study Annex. The rat slab is so-named because its sole purpose is to keep vermin at bay. By week's end, the QSA received floor joists, floorboards and uprights framing the wall of windows. It was good to see real wood at last after so much mud and mortar.
December 12 - 13 | A day of cold rain forced a delay in the construction of the Quiet Study Annex slab, which is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday once the concrete is delivered. Everybody has a schedule.
December 7 - 9 | The foundation blocks were completed for the footings. Still to come is the slab base for the Quiet Study Annex. Framing for the QSA may begin the week of December 12th.
December 5 - 6 | Concrete was poured into the mold framed out for the footings for the Quiet Study Annex (the former porch footprint). A delivery of concrete blocks and mortar powder arrived in preparation for resumption of the elevator shaft construction, slated for Wednesday, December 7th.
December 1 | Backhoe crew are backfilling the space around the elevator shaft with dirt and debris from the surrounding area. They also laid down gravel and cut a drainage pipe to bury inside the enclosure. In the afternoon, additional fill was trucked to the site.
November 26 - 29 | On Saturday, the base of the elevator shaft was waterproofed with tar. A crew arrived Monday to build a floor-to-ceiling enclosure at the entrance to the Mary Behringer Room. The structure will isolate the construction site where the elevator opens into the building. In late afternoon, workers broke through the outside wall and continue to enlarge the opening despite the drizzle.
November 16 - 23 | A rebar grid was laid within a wooden frame into which concrete was poured to form a slab. Early the week of November 20th, shaft building commenced in earnest with a full work crew. About 12 feet of a 34-foot concrete block elevator shaft enclosure was constructed, reaching just a few feet below the windows on the main floor. Next to the shaft is another enclosed space, which will serve as the elevator's machine room. Late Wednesday, the outer wall of the shaft was covered with a veneer of concrete -- a technique called "parging."
November 14/15 | The concrete footing from the base of the 1998 addition was cut from the foundation wall using both a drill and circular saw, filling the air with a fine particulate that enveloped workers in "smoke." Concrete blocks were delivered to the shaft hole by sliding them down a wooden plank. Tuesday's rain filled the hole and submerged the concrete slab. Construction should resume on Wednesday with the laying of blocks for the elevator tower.
November 10 | The cement truck is arriving at 10am to pour the slab for the base of the elevator and the adjacent equipment room. The elevator carriage will be ordered (plans take a month to complete) and footings will be prepared for the base of the Quiet Study Annex (aka porch). On Friday, concrete blocks will arrive in preparation for the construction of a 34-foot shaft to commence on Monday, November 14th.
October 31 - Nov 7 | We're back in business! Back hoe activity resumed Wednesday, November 2nd with the pumping of water from the hole -- or should I say "moat." Once the slab for the elevator foundation is poured, the concrete ledge which was part of the foundation for the 1998 addition (aka "Mary Behringer Room") will be sheared off to create a flush surface for the tower. If you don't believe me, come see for yourself!
October 19 | Insurance matters are still being sorted out. Pity, since conditions are great for outdoor work.
October 3 | The depth of the hole for our elevator shaft has reached 20 feet, but work has temporarily stopped while we resolve some insurance issues. The trencher left for parts unknown this morning. All quiet on the Western Highway front.
September 29 | If you're a fan of really deep holes, come visit our worksite. You'll have to peer out the window or watch from the street. The crew is breaking up the sandstone bed with a trencher. They're down about 12 feet and need to dig out another 4 feet for the elevator shaft.
September 22 | J.D. Backhoe removed bushes along Western Highway and laid down gravel for construction equipment to gain access to our south lawn in preparation for the dismantling of our existing porch for remodeling beginning Monday, September 26th. We are officially in Renovation Mode!
September 9 | Our renovation budget has been approved and a contractor chosen to spearhead a year-long project beginning in early October of this year. We will post ongoing updates to our website's home page and Facebook. The library plans to remain open for the duration of the renovation. We hope you will enjoy the adventure with us, as we address longstanding issues of accessibility and comfort without sacrificing any of the library's unique charm.
All entries by Laura Grunwerg