Posted January 31, 2007

PRAYER...AND AN UNBELIEVABLE CONTRAPTION...TEMPORARILY HOLDS UP THE ORATORY CHOIR LOFT.

When asked how he knew that this home-made pillar support would hold the estimated 10-ton choir loft when the supporting base was removed, Oratory member, Don Deister said, "...just my years of experience. I wasn't afraid for a moment".

In his basement, Don built from scrap steel, a clamp (see the small photo below to the left) that wraps around the steel pillar and supports the massive weight of the choir loft. The clamp, he calculated would hold up to 20 tons. Next he and his crew supported the clamp with two steel I-beams underpinned with some old screw-jacks donated by Oratory member Bill Fitzgibbons. Then the screw-jacks were adjusted to actually lift the choir loft 3/16". Screw-jacks like these are typically used to raise houses for moving.

The next step was to remove the crumbling brick base under the steel pillar (see the "before" photos near the bottom of this page). It will be replaced with a reinforced concrete and a two-foot wide concrete base up to the bottom of the pillar (see the small photo to the right below). Once this is done, the same procedure will be used to accomplish the same thing to the other supporting pillar, just to the north. When complete, the choir loft will be safe and sturdy for at least another 100 years. No fear and faith in God can move mountains.



Two-sided clamp tightly grips
the support pillar in the center
and rests on I-beams


A reinforced concrete base
will be installed under the pillar
which is now just floating in air.


Posted January 31, 2007

JOIST REPLACEMENT CONTINUES IN THE ORATORY VESTIBULE.

Caught the other day working in the church on a cold afternoon, Oratory member Walt Marnett continued the work on the flooring.



Posted January 19, 2007

ARCHITECT PROVIDES NEW DRAWINGS

The links below show some of the drawings that have been prepared for Old St. Patrick by the Oratory's architectural firm of BlueBike Architects, Craig Deister Principal. These drawing are in .pdf format.



Posted January 19, 2006

PROGRESS...SLOW BUT STEADY.



Work continues in the vestibule of the church as floor joists that need replacement are removed awaiting new joists.

This photo shows a new footing that has been prepared for a temporary brace that will be put into place to prepare for the replacement of the old brick footing to the left under the steel column that supports the choir loft. This needs to be done to provide a more stable underpinning of the choir loft bracing column.

To view previous photos, click here...