Friday, February 25, 2011

Not unlike organ donation!

We had our regular construction update meeting at Tucker Brothers Store yesterday. Progress is good and our timeline heading for a completion date in early May remains achievable. An interesting aspect is the replacement floor boards (part of the bundled delivery is shown in the photograph). When it became clear that a significant portion of the existing, original flooring could not be salvaged, we asked that re-claimed or re-sawn 'old wood' be used for the floor board replacement. The boards that will go onto the floor in Charlotte Court House are re-claimed from the Dan River Mill complex in Danville! These buildings made it on our Endangered Sites List and came close to being donated to us at one time. When all preservation efforts failed and the buildings were demolished, the timbers, bricks and other building parts were salvaged and sold. These floor boards went to a facility in Mississippi before returning to within and hour's drive of their original location to be part of this building in Charlotte Court House. I'll post another photo once they are installed. Not the ideal preservation solution as far as the mills are concerned but a good example of making the best of a bad situation!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Downspouts gone!

We received an email alert from our Fredericksburg properties on Valentine's Day morning that copper downspouts had been 'removed' from the rear yard of both the Mary Washington House and the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop over the preceding weekend. Finally had a chance to go up to Fredericksburg yesterday and see the damage. Someone apparently 'popped' the straps with a screwdriver or something similar and yanked the pipes away. Fortunately no additional damage other than the need to replace two at Mary Washington and two at Hugh Mercer. This photo shows the back of Hugh Mercer with the pipes gone. We advised them to use painted galvanized instead of copper when replacing the pipes. Since water should not stand in downspouts, longevity should not be as much of a concern. Better to have cheaper version in place than a more expensive one that is attractive to thieves!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chiller in Place at JMH

The installation of the new stand-alone HVAC system continues apace at the John Marshall House. The rather large chiller unit was set several days ago and I visited with the crew hooking it up on Tuesday. The electrical inspection was to take place later that morning. Once connected, we will no longer be reliant on City Hall for our chilled water. When this work is completed, our crew will construct a white picket fence, based on the design of the perimeter fence to conceal the mechanical unit. This is in accord with the plan approved by the City Architecural Review Board in November.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tucker Brothers Store Update

I met with the architect, contractor and our structural engineer at Tucker Brothers on Tuesday to look at a concern about the front wall of the building. Turns out it is not properly attached to the roof framing structure of the building and sways ever so slightly when pressure is applied. This is a concern. Mike Koelzer, our structural engineer devised a way to attach the wall to the structure that will be part of the extended portico. He is doing the calculations and drawing it up but appears convinced that it can be remedied without an inordinate amount of trouble. The plumbers had to run a video camera through the sewer piping to see where it made a connection with the municipal lines and to determine the condition of the entire line. It too is 'not too bad'. The plumbing engineer recommended a low-pressure flush of the line and second camera tour to determine the final condition. We will do that. We are waiting mostly now on Dominion to schedule the new pole installation so we can trench back to the meter base. We will need an archaeologist on site to observe the trenching. The revised project schedule now has substantial completion in early May.