Final preparations, and the arrival of the crane.
Today the Preservation Timber Framing experts focused on removing the bed and cove molding covering the joint between the belfry and the tower base.
First they had to adjust the staging platforms to work at this lower level, not easy 65' in the air. Then they very carefully removed each piece of trim to keep it intact. As with all the old elements of the tower, every piece of molding gets numbered and cataloged and will go into storage for its eventual refurbishment and placement back on the finished tower.
The crew also began to plan and build the new roof cap that will seal the tower after the takedown. They'll build it on the ground, and the crane will fly it up after lowering the top. (Unfortunately there's still not a firm commitment date from the crane company, but we're aiming for around Sept. 2nd.)
Ed Bell and the PTF crew must work at another job site tomorrow and will return to FPC Monday. They secured the scaffold ladder and covered the tower window openings with plastic for the long weekend.
FPC volunteers have also been hard at work. Paul Dionne led the effort to remove the pulley and cable for the clock-driving weight box. That pulley was attached to the clock room ceiling/belfry floor, and had to come down for the top separation. We unfortunately won't be able to keep the clock running during the rehabilitation work, so restoring its function in a couple years is an exciting milestone to look forward to.
Thanks also to volunteers Ken Gould who cleared the brush from the mound of dirt sitting right where we'll probably place the tower top, and to Bill Wheeler and Harry Carter who are making that dirt mound disappear.
PTF begins rigging and takedown prep.