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As part of our plan to repair the foundation we connected the new reinforced concrete grade beam with a concrete anchor at the south end of the building. This front “anchor” is a concrete block wall that also supports the new porch.
Since it is inset slightly from the outside dimensions of the church foundation, the wall can be faced with wooden siding to match the original building. After restoration the concrete block portion of the wall will not be visible.
Redwood decking has been added to the front porch and beautiful Victorian balustrades are being added to the perimeter. New steps leading up from the street are planned. To fund the purchase of Hickory balusters made in Texas we have asked our supporters to give us $25 for each baluster they want to donate. We figure we will need to buy about 50 more before the stairs are finished.
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The original building did not have indoor plumbing and in keeping with the era of the building it will not in the future but accommodations will be added as an auxiliary building.
New siding on the bell tower and repaired siding on the church exterior walls will be followed by new windows and doors, essentially completing the exterior restoration. Inside, however, much remains to be done.
All of the remaining original flooring will be removed and replaced with 4x8 tongue and groove plywood panels, and the remaining interior wall coverings will be removed and replaced with plywood shear panels. Most of the lath and plaster has already been removed and about half of the flooring remains to be replaced.
A new challenge has come up concerning work on the bell tower. The highest portion of the bell tower is at least 50 feet above the ground, much too tall to be reached by ladders. Lift or boom trucks or cranes will not work because there are six overhead electric lines and one telephone cable directly in front of the church. It looks as if we will need scaffolding to do any work, including painting, on the bell tower. Our work, due to funding restrictions, cannot be done quickly and the scaffolding may have to remain erected for several years, a situation that precludes rental.
The Church yard is such an important part of the project and valuable for community events a plan is in the works for landscaping it to be a beautiful and useful part of the church.