April Construction update with Bill Thornton


Time and Change

I made another trip up Interstate 71 heading to Iuka Avenue. The very first time I drove that road was when it opened, sometime in the mid-sixties, going to a Buckeye football game.

That meant we no longer stopped at Frisch’s in Washington Court House for lunch. Some of you may not realize it, but this was before there was tailgating. My, how times have changed with traffic on that road. These days I feel it is the grain truck highway, I see a bunch of them every time. However, today I saw a really great truck load of an agriculture crop going down the road. It was a semi load of landscape trees, grown by those kind of people who really know how to grow something.

After a great lunch with Brother Bill Flinn, I saw a lot of things different at 1979. The roofers were working on the new dormers. Shingles on top and flashings around them. From the inside I believe those are going to be nice new rooms. In fact, I think the entire third floor will be a great place for 23 of our young men to live. Lots of new rooms that we will need to provide new names. The fire department says we have to number our rooms, they do not know how to find the Boars Nest. We can put numbers on the rooms but that does not stop us from having names for all of them.

The plumbing drain pipes are now finished all the way up to the third floor and the water lines are in process on the first floor. The fire suppressant system pipes are mostly finished on the third floor. The black pipe is complete in the unheated attic area and most of the red pipe below the attic is installed on the third floor. The unheated areas are a glycol system so they will not freeze. When you look up into the attic you have to wonder how they got the pipe up in that area. I wish I had seen them up there, could have been an interesting sight. Soon the ceiling will be installed and all of that will not be seen again.

Just a few details on closets remain on the third floor for the framers. One of the framers told me today, “I may be slow but all of your door frames will be square.” I wish I could say that about my house. The framers are almost ready to move to the basement. They may be finished and gone by my next visit.

The steel contractors were on site today to make accurate measurements for the steel that is needed to replace the wall removed in the basement and to fill the gaps in the floors created by the removal of the chimney and the dumb waiter. With the measurements taken it means the steel can now be fabricated. Can’t wait for that to be in place.

When the 71 addition was built it was done about a foot away from the original house. Not sure why it was done that way, our super thinks that maybe they did not want to remove the soffit on the old house. It is still there, been hidden all these years by the roof that filled the gap between the two structures. It too will soon disappear for maybe the next 100 years. From the spring room you can see that we are now making great use of that space. There is a three inch black iron water pipe going to the third floor for the sprinkler system, and there are large electric service lines coming from the basement feed area up to each floor. In addition there are any number of other electric lines going up and down the space.

The new catch basins off each back corner of the house are being fabricated now so that installation can happen soon which will include some helical piles on the right side of the house. Sub flooring has been put in place in the old head, covering up where all of the concrete was removed and you can no longer see the remnants of plumbing in what was once upon a time a restroom by the old exec chamber.

I was in a discussion today with the architect and contractor on just how to get the heat duct from the new furnace in the basement of the 57 addition over to the kitchen in the 71 addition. After much consternation I believe it got figured out. This is complicated by the steel beam that runs along the top of the wall (preventing a straight shot along the ceiling) because the precast floor joist were too short because the outside foundation wall was poured in the wrong place in 71. We expected that we may find some surprises in the original house and we have, the concrete in the floor of the old head being the worst in that building. I consider this steel beam in the 71 a bigger surprise, certainly not the way I expected it to be.

When I walked into the house, the first people I encountered were the fire suppressant workers. One of them said, “I found an old picture in the attic, you will find it upstairs.” Sure enough, there it was, another surprise. It is not in the best of condition but all of the people show well. Memory tells me I have seen this picture before, maybe there was a copy in some of the pictures that were packed away from the Mother Beall Library. It is a banquet scene with over 100 men in it. I am guessing from the 40’s or early 50’s. I need some of you brothers from that era to see if you can identify anyone in the picture. One clue as to when it was, might be the sheet music that can be seen in the foreground titled Hurry Home. When I look that up I found it with Kate Smith’s picture and dated 1938.

I haven’t heard from anyone who would like to see what is happening inside 1979 Iuka. The offer still stands, things will start to get covered up soon. Call me if you would like to visit. 513-265-0450.

How firm thy friendships,


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