Skylight

The skylight before and after demolition. We are keeping the skylight, but just going to clean and update the glass. We also have four other original skylights that were covered over with the roofing ten years ago. Opening up those will bring in a lot more natural light!

Skylight from the roof. The original iron frame is in really bad shape and falls apart in your hand. 

Skylight from the roof. The original iron frame is in really bad shape and falls apart in your hand. 

10" joists reduced to 2"

We took out the 'modern' bathtub--less than 8 years old--since it was leaking pretty bad. We discovered that they had cut almost 8" out of the 10" floor joists!! Unbelievable, really the worst damage we are finding to the building are the repairs done in the past ten years. The original work from 100 years ago is in good shape. A good cautionary tale for our own repairs!

Asbestos removal

We had a great crew from Cira and Associates Consulting come in and remove the siding and properly dispose of the asbestos. They started with good weather, but the last day the weather turned brutally cold with snow and high winds. Made removing the last few shingles quite a challenge. Credit to the contractor's crew for getting it all finished up.

Front and side before removal.

Almost removed from the front in sunny, but very cold conditions.

Then the weather changed a bit. The hard to reach final corner was a challenge.

Then the weather changed a bit. The hard to reach final corner was a challenge.

Loft space

We took out all of the ceilings in the front space and it opens up the upper windows. Not sure why they had natural light into the crawl space originally. We plan to keep the front part open and expose the beams and then put in a loft space towards the back. 

Rotten floors

We have a significant amount of water damage from leaks in the roof. That has caused some damage all the way through the three floors. Fortunately, the damage on the first (retail) floors is minimal. But to work on the upper floors, I had to take up the rotten floors--didn't feel like plunging 30 ft. through the beams. 

Like a lot of this project, there's a whole series of short-term steps, e.g. building stairs, fixing the floor, etc. that are needed to actually do the major work. 

Rotten floor

Cutting out the bad wood

Looking up through the cleared out floor

Looking down at the rubble below

Tearing out plaster walls

The walls are all original wood and plaster. It took a master craftsman a lot of time to put in these walls and ceilings. I feel a little bad about just ripping them out in a few hours. Some are in good condition and we may leave a few. Others have so much damage or we have to remove the walls to put in insulation, modern plumbing, electricity, etc.

The biggest problem is the mess from the plaster and all the centuries old dust, mold, rot and other nasty contaminants. As you can see in the last photo, I'm wearing full-body protection, especially a high quality air filter.

Before...

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After