Building projects or tales that don’t fit elsewhere…

You load 16 tons and what do ya get…

We’ve been cleaning up the Cupola building downtown for nearly nearly 20 months.

We could have done it faster, if it had been the priority or we had thrown money at it.

Anyway, to illustrate the *scale* of the challenge, I was going through my receipts, and with the load of trash I pulled out of the building today we’ve used 800 contractor trash bags.

If I assume a VERY conservative 40 pounds each, we’ve hauled off 16 tons of garbage.

Piles and piles...

Piles and piles…

This doesn’t count several thousand pounds of non-bagged stuff…including a pool table, old smashed sandwich machines, dead printers and outdated electronic cash registers (dozens, literally).

Lots and lots...

Lots and lots…

It’s a big job. We’re seeing the light near the end of the tunnel!

I’ve repaired lights (12 ballasts and so far, 40 bulbs…I need another case), pulled out unneeded/bad electric, and pulled nasty carpet.

Maybe next weekend…pics of it *clean*!

It needs it…we’re about to open something…

More on that later!

Daniel Meyer

Attic Cleanup–and severed ladies’ heads.

Hmmm…another nook…or perhaps a cranny.

That’s an interesting thing about old houses and buildings…they have nooks and crannies all over the place.

In the Cupola, there is a drop ceiling on the first floor (two actually, but that’s another story). We discovered an access hatch on the mezzanine (kind of a half-floor) that leads to the space between the original ceiling and the first of the dropped ceilings.

I spent several hours Monday morning cleaning it out.

Keep in mind, this “nook” covers an area about 80 feet deep by 25 feet wide.

Remove a panel and “presto!” More junk.

Another nook...or perhaps cranny

Another nook…or perhaps cranny

A view into the depths…

A view into the depths. 80 feet or so in there is the front of the building.

A view into the depths. 80 feet or so in there is the front of the building.

Paperwork. Lots of it.

Basically, I found the 1970’s in paperwork!

Paperwork from 1973

Paperwork from 1973

Did I say paperwork from the 70’s? Well, the 60’s too! Here’s an uncashed check from 1963.

An uncashed check from 1963

An uncashed check from 1963

And let’s not forget the mattress in the attic…because you just never know when you’ll want to take a nap in the attic, yes?

And let's not forget the matress...

And let’s not forget the matress…


Everybody needs a box of severed ladies heads

Everybody needs a box of severed ladies heads

Okay, maybe not actual severed heads…but there were more than a dozen of these “wig head” things scattered about, and dozens of scalps…I mean wigs scattered everywhere. EXACTLY the kind of thing that will get your heart going when you are alone in nook of an 1860’s era building crawling through the dust with little light.

Yah know…crawling along…all alone…in the dark…and as you move your hand forward you lightly touch the hair…then sort of shift yourself so you get a little more light and now you can see the hair is on a head…!!!!!!!!


About 8 giant contractors bags full of debris removed from this space.

Daniel Meyer

Chop chop!

Ever wonder about the construction of a 70’s era pool table?

We cut up the pool table and another crappy (heh) display…in order to more easily get them down the stairs and out of our building. These were not in any way salvageable, made of plywood, particle board, and cheap paneling, then set to marinate in pigeon crap for a couple decades or so (or longer, the magazines and such we are finding at this level date from the 50’s and 60’s)!

Warped, chewed, and covered in excrement…they are out of here. I cut the pool table up into 4 pieces (in addition to the two leg sections) for ease of getting them down the stairs and later disposal.

Magazines and such in this room are from late 50’s and 1960.

We figure we moved a couple thousand pounds down the stairs.

Still have a ways to go though.

Daniel Meyer

Dirty Jobs

Well, Mike Rowe isn’t returning my calls, so it looks like it’s up to me and the wife.

With the Christmas season and its accompanying spending and other madness (oh, and let us not forget “property tax” season), we need a project or two that is decidedly “low-impact” on the budget.

At the same time, for our own sanity we need a project that shows that we’ve made a difference. Months of plumbing and electrical on the Old Vic doesn’t yield anything visually dramatic we can point to and say, “Hey, look at that!”

So, a high (visual) impact, low cost project, that still benefits us and moves us forward in some way.

Hmmmm. Clean-up is one of those kind of things. And we’ve got a LOT of that to do.

Methinks…”The Pigeon Room” is on the agenda this weekend.

To give us added incentive to make a visual impact, here’s a couple before pictures:

The pigeon room...what a mess!

The pigeon room…what a mess!

There is a LARGE amount of trash and debris here to remove.

There is a LARGE amount of trash and debris here to remove.

Muhahahahahahaha! Methinks I get to hack up a pool table with a saw-zall!

I’ll post the “after” pictures next week…with any luck and a bit of hard work…they’ll even look different!

Daniel Meyer

“Orange” Juice?

Those that have been following along our various adventures with old buildings might recall that we bought an 1890(ish) gothic debatable commercial building, complete with tower.

This building has been a pharmacy downstairs since it was built. It’s been rearranged a couple times, some merchandise no longer carried, the soda fountain taken out…new ceilings…you know, typical changes. It was doctors’ offices upstairs until around the 1960’s or so…the upstairs has been mostly vacant since (and thus, filled with junk from wall to wall).

Along comes us. We are, apparently the 3rd owners. We’re not a pharmacy so just as a starting point, we are cleaning it out to the core.

You might imagine some interesting things can be found in a 120 year old building…and you’d be right. Why, I have no less than 20 cash registers…from every concievable era…and printers! Printers of every make and model…printers progressing over the years! Dozens! All of them broken of course…Oh, and then there’s the cases of labels/receipt blanks left over for each and every one of the broken printers…

And remind me to someday tell you about the stuff…I can’t tell you about.

But that’s not the story here. The trash is the story here…something like 35 giant contractors bags full so far…maybe 3000 pounds hauled out so far…

So today, in a little used and obviously forgotten store-room (nook under the stairs) we found the ticking time bombs…

Cokes so old they had eaten through the can. 20 oz plastic bottles so old that they were smushy as there was no pressure left in them. Some glass bottles. When’s the last time they made 20 oz glass bottles? Oh, and the older style too…the tall narrow glass bottles with the crimped on metal caps? Except the caps were corroded through.

And then there’s the juice.

Not so orange juice

Not so orange juice

Cases of it.

Good for what ails ya!

Good for what ails ya!

I think the color’s a little off on this batch…what about you? Maybe it needed refrigeration for the last decade or so?

Daniel Meyer