Our work is proceeding on schedule. All of you have seen the initial exterior work on the north wall, with the removal of the stucco cladding (ca. 1905) and exposure of the original church wall, hidden for over a century! This sample area was repaired and painted for your inspection with the procedures and colors that will be used throughout. Ron Young and his crew also dug a hole to the bottom of the foundation to ensure the exterior solidity of the brickwork. The wise builders in 1883 had actually parged the foundation exterior with a coating of mortar to prevent water infiltration. We were satisfied with their work, still largely intact, and filled the hole back in.
A number of stained glass windows have also been removed and are being repaired by our widow contractor, Opal Glass.
Largely unseen by almost everyone, however, is the ongoing work in the basement. The original dirt floor is now concrete! The entire interior foundation wall has been repaired, using hundreds of new bricks to replace ones that had simply crumbled over the last 130 years. Ron has, with his subcontractors, completed extensive repairs and upgrades to our electrical and mechanical systems. The organ remains out of service for the moment as we complete a new roomfor the organ turbine and mechanicals, again replacing the one built when the organ was installed around 1924, and now in complete disrepair.
As is to be expected in any project like this, we have run into unexpected extras. Most have been small and are simply repairs to shoddy work done in the past. However we have run into two major extras as described below.
The first is a second structural beam in poor condition. We knew we had to reinforce one beam and budgeted for it. However this second beam could not be seen at the time of our estimating, being hidden by a wall now removed. When we found it we also noted that it has been actively deteriorating, with a new split having just appeared. We have installed emergency shoring while we address the structural issues to repair it.
The second is what we call the North Vestibule. This is the small area you pass through if exiting the Sanctuary to the ramp. Some of you may have noticed here, on the north interior, a long-abandoned wooden door with a stained glass window above it.
This was an addition added after the original Sanctuary, to provide access to Wilson Avenue. Because it was clad in stucco like the rest of the building, we could not see its foundation. Well - surprise! There is no foundation under this small area! Only several cedar posts support it, a common practice a century ago since cedar lasts for decades. This is how the front vestibule was built as well - and as we know, we've run out of time with those posts too, which are failing. So we propose installing a true foundation under this North Vestibule in the same way that we will under the front vestibule in the future.
The long and short of all this description is to let you know all work is going well, and though we have additional costs there seems to be room in our budget. We simply have to repair both the second beam and address the vestibule foundation.
We will remain alert to opportunities for savings as the work proceeds.
We will keep you posted as we proceed. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, or if you wish to see the basement.