Work on the clock tower of the Stewart Library Building will begin next week. The staging arrived Friday. The workers from Knowles Industrial Services Corporation will rebuild, in place, the sections with the most damage and repair the rest. The engineer from Becker Structural Engineers, said the work could not wait until Spring, leaving it until then would “risk significant damage to the structure.” Work on the steeple, fixing mostly trim, flashing, paint and some slate shingles, can wait and be done from a lift in warmer weather.
The work will cover the masonry of the top 30 feet of the tower and the belfry. A structural engineer and mason, both with experience in historic masonry restoration, carefully examined both the inside and the outside of the tower, all the way to the top. The inside shows some problems. The outside has some areas that have serious damage, mostly the result of many years of “deferred maintenance”. [See the post below from November 2, 2014 “Why is it taking so long to repair the clock tower?”]
The photos below are all Copyright Becker Structural Engineers, Inc. 2014. They were taken during the examination of the tower in November.
Some areas have enough damage to require rebuilding, in place.
In some areas missing mortar can be replaced to repair the structure. They will put up a “tent” to enclose and heat these areas as they work.
Work on the flashing and other wood parts of the steeple can be done from a lift in the Spring or Summer.