Light Station Restoration Diary
As written by the people working on the restoration.
Unless otherwise identified, the diary author is Linda Nenn,
co-chair of the Restoration Project
June 1, 2001
Waste Management of SE Wisconsin has donated a third dumpster. The filled dumpster was removed late yesterday or very early today.
Just came back from the Light Station. Wester Electric called early this morning and said "Tom" was available. I swear it was the middle of the night, but who knows on a day like today. He's going to aim at getting the BX moved from the north wall of the bathrooms to the south wall. I'll check back later to see what's up.
Yesterday Nancy Simpson and I spent about 3 hours at the LS. I gave Nancy the fun job of pulling staples out of the roof rafters. Talk about excitement! I chose the easier task of trimming around the building. We also moved some of the saved boards to the basement to clean up the back hallway a bit. I came back later to do some general cleanup and a little nail pulling. Rick stopped in to check the status of work in progress. Had a couple of bikers on their way from Sturgeon Bay to Arlington Park climb the stairs and stop in. Couldn't squeeze a donation out of them but I tried. I asked if they were familiar with Ozaukee County's bike trails and the plans to connect the various parts of the Interurban route. News to them. Said they'd look into it next summer when they repeat the trip. Also suggested they stay in Port rather than Cedarburg next year.
I discovered, with input from Millen Roofing, that the siding under the aluminum siding on the generator and main building is NOT wood clapboard. We knew we had to remove the aluminum, but it is apparent that we're going to have to replace the pressboard siding also. It will not stand up to the weather as it is degraded to the degree that any moisture will be absorbed and delaminating will occur at a very fast rate. This is probably why the Coast Guard applied the aluminum siding around 1980.
For those of you that want to know why we have often have to choose the costly method rather that the most economical avenue, I refer you to the "Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation," effective March 28, 1990. I have Many copies for your leisure time reading. For an example: "6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence." This is the standard NPS and the state historic office are holding us to. Another source of criteria is the National Park Service Maritime Initiative. They've produced a 200+ page book that specifically addresses Lighthouse restoration. Our architect, Kathleen, has my copy but the whole thing is online. Only takes about 2 days to download and print it.
June 5, 2001
The blacksmith and carpenter will be in Port Washington, at noon, on Sunday, June 10th.
Our latest volunteer is Mary Latimer, from Neenah. Mary will try to stop in next week for an on site visit. Mary read about our project in Lighthouse Digest and she comes with the promise of POWER TOOLS. Obviously a woman not to cross paths with. Welcome aboard Mary.
The last week was slow at the Light Station. Had visitors on Saturday. 2 couples stopped by in the late afternoon. I believe Rick cajoled a donation from one twosome. Nancy Simpson, of Jackson/Slinger put in over six hours pulling staples from the attic rafters and she's indicated she'll be at the LS today also. Let me tell you, pulling staples is not an exciting task. Your help is appreciated Nancy S.
We opened the sealed bids Jon had received for the roof extensions and the exterior millwork that needs to be cut. 2 bids for each of these projects. The millwork choice is easy to make as Goebel came in at $7,766, $3,500 over the quote from C. A. Chandler & Company of Milwaukee, $4,239. The specs were identical for each of these two millwrights. The sooner we can give the go ahead on this aspect of the project, the sooner we can proceed with the roof extensions. The milling will take several weeks and then we'll have to prime the wood. The contractors schedules are fast becoming filled with other commitments. Construction of the roof extensions is next on the agenda. Bley Builders, Port Washington, submitted a quote of $12,400 to extend and tie in the rafters, extend the gables, apply 30# roofing felt, install the new fascia, soffit, frieze and crown moldings and remove the flat roof overhang. All materials are to be supplied by the Historical Society. Stan's Carpentry of Theresa, who has worked with Chandler on numerous projects, quoted a price of $13,550 for the same work. Stan's included scaffolding, while I'm not sure Bley's quote took this into consideration. I will call these contractors references and try to take the time to photograph some of their work before I make a recommendation. Jon's preference is Stan's Carpentry, but he has never worked with Bley's.
So, just to get the roof ready for reroofing, we will have an outlay of at least $16,500. Add to that the masonry work we've already approved and our current operating capital will basically be expended. Fund raising needs to shift into overdrive if we are to continue in a timely manner.
June 7, 2001
Architect Kathleen O'Donnell has a preference for the wood shingle roof. She also brought up whether or not the National Park Service would approve of the metal shingle. So...
Called NPS. Bill Nelligan, our contact for the last 3-4 years, is no longer our contact. His former assistant, "Mark." is now in charge. Sorry, missed his last name. Talked to Mark's assistant at some length and filled him in on the roofing quandary. Mark called back later in the day, favoring the wood shingle. When I went through the amount of information we have, i.e. knowing that the building had a metal roof and a wood roof at various times, he said he'd need to do more research. We should know the outcome of his research next Thursday, June 14, because...
NPS was trying to contact us at the same time I was calling them. Mark and Brian McCutcheon, supervisor and assistant for the Midwest Region, will have an on site visit on Thursday, the 14th. I'm to meet them at the Light Station at 8:30 a.m. Anyone that wishes to join us is welcome. Rick will be out of town, so I'd appreciate some company.
Contacted the State Historical Society and left a message for Jim Draeger, one of the historical society's architects. Left same info regarding roofing material. Have not heard back from him yet, but the state is notoriously slow in responding.
Almost as an afterthought, I spoke with Randy Tetzlaff. Boy is it nice to have a board member in the know at city hall. Randy checked the minutes of the architectural review committee or planning committee and determined we should be safe, as far as the city goes, regardless of which roofing material we choose. Randy's personal preference, metal roof. Thanks for your help, Randy.
Called Millen Roofing, of Milwaukee to let them know the Luxembourgers and architect would be on site Sunday, the 10th rather than Saturday. Millen is submitting a quote of the roofing and had indicated they'd like to be at the Light Station when the architect was there. John Millen will be coming up, with his family. Decided to make the trip a family outing.
Tracked down some white gloves Kevin and Mary had ordered. Delivered to the Light Station rather than the Research Center. Our historical twosome spent the day with the County Board, regarding the July 4th Celebration. It was to be a white glove affair. Nothing's too good for our County Board.
Received a reply to a query I had sent out regarding a listing of Port Washington's Lightkeepers. Got some first names and different spellings a a few of the keepers. Also replied with names that weren't included on the list and have agreed to supply the Great Lakes Lightkeepers Research Ctr. with names of personnel after 1934.
Nancy Simpson worked at the LS for 3-4 hours on Tuesday. Thanks, Nancy. Much appreciated, especially as you worked alone.
Called Jim Burmesch, our FedEx contact, and left message regarding the Luxembourg visit. Jim needs to know when the tower will be shipped so that FedEx can make arrangements.
Dates to remember: Sunday, June 10th, around noon. Architect and Luxembourgers will be arriving separately, so there may be some extra visitors from the Chicago Consulate. Mary Flierl is going to put together some refreshments. Hosting is not my forte. Thursday, June 14th, 8:30 a.m., National Park Service visit.
Addendums: Susan Kenny continues to make fund raising calls. Pat Wilborn has donated a computer and monitor to the Research Center. Greg, the Ansay computer technician, will hook it up and upgrade the memory so it will have internet access. A CD burner has been purchased so that all our photograph archive can be put on CD for printing and retrieval. Volunteers for that task? We still need a scanner. Rick is pursuing a lead concerning the acquisition of a lifeboat. Possible placement would be in the yard at the Light Station, up on davits. Damon has contacted Mrs. Boyd Allen regarding the maritime collection of the late Mr. Allen. It's quite extensive and would be a great addition to our archives, possibly housed at the Light Station. Requests for genealogy and other research continue to come into the Research Center. Caught Mary F. at the Register of Deeds office late yesterday afternoon. Research Center charges $15/hr. to delve into county records, library microfilm, etc. Fortunately for the Historical Society, Mary, Kevin and the others volunteer their time and effort.
June 15, 2001
The Sunday, June 10, 2001 visit by the Luxembourg artisans in charge of the tower and lantern reconstruction proved to be rewarding for all parties involved. A special thank you to Mary and Ann Flierl for serving as hosts and providing the tasty treats at the end of the day. We learned so much regarding the fabricating and shipment of their work. Mario, Bernie, Peter, Claude and Madeline were delightful guests. Madeline is a Morton Grove, IL resident now, but came along as a translator. Considering the technical nature of our conversations, we did pretty good overcoming the language barrier. By the time we added a little wurst, fromage, brot and bier, communicating was a breeze.
Kathleen O'Donnell, our super architect, had little time for refreshments as the 4 hour visit encompassed so many areas that needed to be addressed.
John Millen, one of the roofing contractors that wants to bid on the roofing, made a special trip to Port so he could hear firsthand the needs of the Luxembourgers that will be accompanying the tower to Port. John brought along his able assistant, daughter Sadie, age 9. Talk about a family business! John and a grown up assistant were back at the Light Station on Wednesday. They peeled back a small section of shingles and studied the nail patterns on the original decking boards. This gave us positive proof of roofing material that had been used over the last 141 years. Found evidence of 3 different roofs and uncovered the possibility that some of the 1849 rafters were reused in the 1860 rebuild. Fascinating to say the least.
On Tuesday I made a trip to Acker Millwork, Inc. We have to contract with someone to do the interior flooring and trim. Acker is a large firm and hence already has the setup to cut the flooring. Because of the oversize of the wood originally used, finding the fir/pine wood will add to our projected costs. Pete Acker or another company rep will make a site visit soon.
Went up to Sheboygan Falls and paid a visit to Beth and her staff at the Sheboygan County Historical Archives. It was a long shot which didn't pay off, but I was hoping they might have some information on our 1860 Light Station. Port's and Sheboygan's Light Stations were both rebuilt in 1860. The hunt for records continues.
Ron Mann, one of our volunteers, has supplied us with a lumber list that will be called in to Neuens Lumber Co. We this latest order we can continue with the interior framing. We'll also be attaching the new furring strips to accommodate the required insulation. With his help and guidance the new wall studs will soon be in place. Volunteers: let me know your ability to help in the next few weeks. We'll set up some work days. We started removing some of the aluminum siding from the northern exposure. This will allow us to accurately measure the window openings on the sunrooms. As suspected, the old windows were bigger than the current ones. Acker Millwork will also give us a quote on the window work that needs to be undertaken.
Yesterday, the 14th, two representatives of the National Park Service paid us an on site visit. The conundrum about the proper roofing material was solved as well as the extent of exterior masonry repair we will be allowed to do. The Board and Restoration Committee will have to meet to discuss and act on these changes to our restoration plan. Brian McCucheon and Mark Chavez, the NPS reps, were going to meet with the Pabst group when they left Port Washington. Brian McCucheon, the NPS liaison for Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, was particularly interested in making the trip from Omaha to Port Washington. Turns out his parents have been coming to our fair city for years. He and his mom had a long discussion on the existence of our old lighthouse. She adamantly asserted there was no 1860 lighthouse in Port, so Brian took MANY photographs to verify we do exist. It will be nice to meet his parents. So many people regularly visit our city and know little about the treasures that are hidden amongst our tree covered bluffs.
The exterior cleaning is presenting a new challenge. A sealer coat, possibly a concrete slurry, was applied to the building. First attempts to remove it have proved unsuccessful. The NPS reps have never seen this application and were stumped as to how and if we can remove it without doing irreparable damage to the exterior fenestration.
Damon has found someone who may donate the cleaning of the building. With the new "challenge," this is great news. Part of the problem is the standards we must adhere to. Several years ago an architect we were dealing with had a small section of the brick and limestone cleaned. It looked pretty good, but upon closer examination by NPS, it was obvious the area had been sand blasted. This method is no longer allowed on National Register buildings and has been generally discarded by any reputable masonry cleaners. Sand blasting spalls the cream city brick and destroys the limestone. Take a look at the sample area on the east exposure and you'll see what I mean.
Hey, FYI, the Light Station was painted a salmon color at some point prior to 1934.
Peter Braun, the light station's neighbor to the south, works for a company that supplies masonry and stone cleaning chemicals for historic restorations. The company has worked with the National Register and National Park Service. He arrived home just as NPS was leaving and was kind enough to come over and talk to Brian and Mark. Peter will also bring some cleaning chemicals to the site so that Dave Schueller, from Belgium (the village not the country) can try them on the light station.
I still must find a lab that will test our paint samples to determine which, if any, of the painted surfaces contain lead.
I've contacted mason Peter Paulus regarding the bricking and reframing of the three windows so he is aware of the change order imposed by NPS. Also contacted Jim Burmesch (FedEx) to bring him up to speed on the anticipated delivery time frame. He may touch base with Mario, the project coordinator in Luxembourg, when he and Kevin Wester visit Luxembourg.
Kathleen O'Donnell has indicated she may make another trip to Luxembourg as the European project takes shape. This was at the suggestion of Mario and Bernie.
June 15 (2)
National Park Service has said we should do exterior restoration consistent with 1934. That means we cannot change the window configuration on the main building. No windows may be bricked in and the kitchen window must remain. Wood storms/screens must replace the current aluminum combination windows. The current windows must all be reglazed and repaired as needed. The generator building needs to be resided with clapboard and a red roof installed.
The brick/mortar must be replaced anywhere it has failed. The primary places are under every window. So, even though our original masonry project has had to be canceled, much masonry work remains to be done.
The large sunroom windows and the first and second floors, east and north exposures, need to be replaced with new casement windows that replicate those installed in 1934.
NPS now wants the red galvanized steel shingle to be our roofing material. John Millen and I were able to find pieces of wood shingles attached with square cut nails. This is consistent with 1860, so the 1860 blueprints were not adhered to in regard to the roofing. Apparently a few pieces of the roof decking wood were turned over when the metal roof was installed, leaving a few pieces of wood shingle in place. But, John and his helper also found small pieces of red tin metal stuck to machined nails that were left behind when the newer asphalt shingles replaced the metal in 1934. Two asphalt layers of shingles are now on the building.
The method of applying the Berridge Company shield pattern shingles is as follows. Before shingling takes place, rebuild eaves and gable extensions to original specs. Then, 1. Remove the current roofing material 2. Apply 30# felt 3. Cover with rosin paper 4. Use copper flashing where brick and roofing meet 5. Install the red metal shingles leaving a temporary roof where the tower will be installed. 6. Finish shingling and flashing after tower has been rebuilt on the building. 7. Use a different metal pattern on the exterior of the tower.
Also on the exterior surface of the 1934 addition, wood clapboard siding must be installed, replacing both the aluminum siding and the composition siding now on the building. The flat roof on the sunroom must be cut back to accommodate the roof extensions.
Interior of the Light Station 1. 1860 floor plan to be used on first floor, stairway, second floor landing and lightkeeper's office, ladders stairs to lamp room, watchroom and lantern. 2. Go with 1860 reproduced interior baseboard, crown moldings, flooring, window trim. 3. Drywall must be skim coated to create a plastered look. 4. 5 panel doors to be used throughout. 5. Second floor tenant/caretaker apartment is satisfactory to maintain. 6.
The Luxembourg visit provided us with this information. 1. Work on the tower will commence when the Luxembourg craftsmen return to Luxembourg. 2. It was suggested that our architect make another trip to Luxembourg in November. Kathleen was amenable to that. Again, her visit would be at her expense. 3. Jim Burmesch, traveling to Luxembourg in September with Fr. Kevin Wester, might have the opportunity to meet with Mario, the project coordinator, to discuss shipment to the United States. Jim is our FedEx contact and the one that arranged with FedEx, his employer, to donate the shipment of the tower and lantern from Huntsville, AL to Port Washington. 4. The lantern will be cast iron. The Luxembourgers were under the impression an alternate material could be used, but I made it clear that NPS and the State Historic Office required an exact reproduction. 5. The Luxembourg refabrication should be complete, as far as they can go, by the start of the new year. Because of the weather, shipment will not occur until March or April, 2001. 6. The Luxembourgers will be returning to Port to oversee the rebuilding. They may or may not choose to stay in private homes. We are to explore hotel accommodations. 7. It is expected to take 2 weeks to complete the installation of the new tower and lantern. 8. The exterior surface of the tower will be applied at the time of rebuilding, so the Historical Society will supply the material. 9. A crane and scaffolding must be available, on site, to facilitate the placement of the tower and lantern. 10. Our roofing contractor will need to be back on site to do the finish work of flashing and roofing contiguous to the tower. 11. The 8"x8" support beams that currently exist in the attic of the Light Station will be mechanically joined to the tower beams. Detailed measurements were taken to assure to melding of the old and the new. Bernie, the carpenter, gave me 2 metric measures to keep on site for his return. I gave him a wooden, folding ruler and tape measure of mine to take back to Luxembourg. 12. All copper used, on the roof of the lantern, in flashings and on the lantern room platform will be painted to prevent a chemical reaction between the metals we'll be using. 13. The vent on the top of the lantern will have to be grounded. Photographs show the grounding wire used to run down the front face of the Light Station.
Many, many other details were worked out by Kathleen, our architect, and Mario. This is where the discussion started to sound Greek to me. Kathleen was to type up her take on the visit and forward her summary to the state, NPS, Georges Calteux in Luxembourg and me. I will share that info with the Board of Directors and interested parties when I receive it.
June 17, 2001
Thanks goes out to Dan McCotter, president of the Maritime Experience, for sending another masonry restorer to our doorstep. Dan Dimmer, who did work on McCotter's building in downtown Port Washington, is in the process of doing a test clean on a small section of the Light Station, east exposure. As I mentioned earlier, cleaning the cream city brick to the specs required by NPS is presenting a real challenge. Dimmer applied Dietrich 606 cleaner to the surface on Thursday (I think) and was back on site Saturday to wash the brick. The Dietrich chemicals are suggested in the architect's specs. Dimmer was to return today, Sunday, to attempt further cleaning. In order to fully strip the brick and limestone, additional chemical cleaning needs to be done. Dimmer and Peter Braun, (our neighbor to the south) may combine forces and share their areas of expertise. The problem that exists is that a more caustic (and costly) chemical must be applied to remove the slurry that was used by the Light House Service or the Coast Guard. Our goal is to remove this slurry and not damage the brick surface. The stronger Dietrich chemical may leave a green tinge on the brick. Peter Braun's firm handles a line of chemicals (EaCo chemicals) the National Register and NPS have approved. So, again, time will tell. Hope to know the outcome by Wednesday's board meeting.
While Dan Dimmer was working on the outside of the Light Station a couple from Texas stopped by. Saw the article in the West Michigan Circle Tour magazine. Gave them a tour and thanked them for seeking out us out. They knew about the Luxembourg connection and were interested in hearing the story of how that partnership evolved. Said to look for them again next year.
Spoke with Peter Paulus, yesterday, regarding the change in plans in bricking up the windows. I asked that we meet to discuss other masonry work that needs to be done. He'll get back to me. Perhaps this is the time to go ahead with the new front entry stairs.
Also, I dropped off exterior paint samples at Superior Special Services, Inc., Mineral Springs Drive, Port. Superior will donate the cost of testing these samples for lead content. We should have the results of their chemical analysis within a week. Nancy, if the test results come to you, would you please forward the info to Rick or me.
Rick is back from his family outing to Niagara Falls. Of course he stopped at a few lighthouses. He reports that Old Mackinac Light had a metal roof put on the station circa 1890 which is consistent with our building. The group there is involved in a lengthy fund raiser to restore the lighthouse. The grounds are open to the public, with an interpretive guide, but no access to the buildings. Rick will contact the director to see if interior photo graphs can be taken. He'd like to get photos of the interior of the lantern as it is nine sided like ours will be.
June 22, 2001
FIRST: If you're reading this and haven't made a donation to the Light Station Restoration Project in the last 2 months, DO IT NOW!!! We need everyone to make a financial commitment to this Project so we can continue the work in progress. Remember that any money donated after 01 May 2001 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $42,000. If we don't rise to the challenge, we won't receive these grants and challenge donations. LS Restoration Fund, P.O. Box 491, Port Washington, WI 53074. Simple as that!!
It's been a busy week. The Port Washington Historical Society, small in number but big in effort expended, has charged into the breech in many different directions. President of the Society, Damon, has been organizing a display for Port's 30 June 2001 Maritime Heritage Day. Rick Smith is going to give a presentation that same day on commercial fishing.
Meanwhile, Kevin Wester is getting together memorabilia for the 4 July 2001 100th Anniversary of Port's Court House. Needless to say, our 6 easels are in high demand. They seem to disappear and reappear on a regular basis.
The Light Station Project continues with bursts of activity and a few quiet moments. Ron Mann has taken over carpentry duties. On Monday I hung around the Station for 4 hours waiting for a delivery of lumber. It finally arrived and has since been nailed, sawed and shaped into the first floor ADA bathroom. Poor Ron had the framed walls in place and then had to tear them down because we were 3" off according to the state building inspector that visited the site on Wednesday. I'm glad we're being noticed by so many agencies, but we seem to be walking on a tightrope regarding code compliance. The architectural drawings submitted to National Park Service and State Preservation Office had to be tweaked to gain their approval. When the same plans were submitted to WI Dept. of Commerce, some changes had to be made again to gain that building approval.
When NPS was on site last Thursday, they said we couldn't do some of the exterior masonry and interior changes that were included in the state approved plans. That was okay with me, but when the state inspector dropped in (her husband is the city's building inspector), she said we HAD to follow the state approved plans exactly. Two immovable objects apparently, as I followed up the visits with long phone calls to the state and federal people, tried to plead our case and now have my own definition of a catch-22. Oh well, life goes on.
Board met Wednesday night. Good turnout so everyone's pretty much up to speed on the various projects. Treasurer's figures show our Restoration Fund is growing but that we have a long way to go. Damon and Nancy coordinated a donation appeal to Port's small businesses. So far, small businesses, small donations. About 50 "Steps in the Light Direction" have been sold, netting the Restoration approx. $10,000. Need to continue to promote the sale of the steps.
I met with an old friend on Tuesday. He, Charlie Brown (hey, if Wiley Coyote offered to help I'd sign him up too) will lay new telephone lines within the Light Station. He's donating his time and materials. Charlie (aka Donn) is a retired Ameritech employee.
On Wednesday I called Ameritech to arrange getting the outside lines moved. Nothing is easy these days. Managed to set up an appointment to get a technician to look at the site for $71 plus $25 per 1/4 hr. I explained to the Ameritech rep that I wanted the lines buried, but she said first they had to look, then I had to contact the buried lines department.
Yesterday, just before noon, I received a call on my cell phone from an Ameritech tech. He was at the light station because Charlie had given him a call. Dave Schamper and Charlie worked together I guess. To make a long story short, within the next 2 weeks Ameritech will bury the telephone lines at no charge.
So, first I had needed to contact our neighbors to the west and north, the Grieschs, to make sure they had no objections to a buried cable along the front of their property. Jim Griesch gave me the go ahead a long as we stick to the terrace and sidewalk area.
This morning called Wisconsin Gas digger's hotline. They'll come out and flag the utilities that may be already buried. Then I called the water plant and asked that they mark where our sewer and water laterals are buried. They said they'd get notification from the digger's hotline people, but the digger's rep said I should call the public utilities. I wish all these groups could coordinate what they're doing.
Got our first roofing quote from Schaus Roofing out of Manitowoc. We already know that the eaves and roof extensions will cost $13,000-$14,000 plus materials. Add to that the roofing quotes as we receive them. Schaus's bid for just the light station is $18,600 plus $4,320 for the copper edge metal (rain gutters and down spouts). For the station and the generator building we're looking at $26,300 plus $6,415 for the copper.
I should be getting 2 more bids by Monday.
Acker millwork of Milwaukee had not gotten back to me regarding the flooring and windows I requested a quote for. Will follow up.
State building inspector strongly wants us to install hard line smoke detectors. Her husband said battery detectors should be sufficient.
Ron was back at the Light Station this morning, nailing the new furring board to the walls.
Rick man handled about 25 feet of heavy chain to the Station yard. Will use this probably with the lifeboat if that donation becomes a reality. Chain came from a small laker through Doug Ahsmann. He had it in his yard.
Used the Lu Steinert's shop vac to collect some of the saw dust we've produced. Floors could use a good sweeping if someone wants to volunteer.
Volunteers needed for these tasks: Cleaning the light station once or twice a week. Trimming the grass Edging the sidewalks. I picked up a manual edger at St. Vinnie's last week. It's just inside the front door. Nailing furring strips. Windows have to be framed in with furring strips. Measuring wall surfaces so we can order drywall. I think we'll go with 5/8" throughout as this will accommodate the 1 hour burn that is required on about half of the interior walls and ceiling. Hanging drywall and priming the walls. Someone who knows how to apply a skim coat of plaster.
Ameritech will call me when they're going to do the work. So will Charlie Brown, so I can be on site. I think I'll call or stop in at Wisconsin Electric to see if our electrical drop can also be buried and what the cost will be.
I tried to call Dan Dimmer regarding the masonry cleaning. Will try again as he hasn't gotten back to me. Regardless of who we hire to do the exterior cleaning, we have to be sure anyone doing a test clean has ground cover in place before they attack the brick and knows how to reclaim the spent chemicals. I going to call Superior to see if the paint test results are in. I don't know how to proceed if the foundation paint proves to be lead base, but I'm sure its just one more thing I'll have to find out about.
Hey, I now know how to run a circular saw! I did some experimenting this morning and still have all my fingers and toes intact.
State inspector said we have to tuckpoint the inside chimney. Hadn't figured on that. More costs...
I need to track down some companies that make 5 panel pine doors. Home Depot doesn't carry any in their regular stock. Hope I can find some rather that having to special order the doors. May check at Salvage Heaven in Milwaukee this weekend.
National Trust has approved a thermopane storm window for replacement on historic buildings. Costs more that single pane, so we'll have to make a decision. I'll see if I can get a sample of each type.
I'm also going to start getting some prices on the clapboard siding we'll have to install on the back of the Light Station and the Generator Building. This isn't included in our project costs, so it will have to be added.
Time to call Wester Electric to see if they can give us another day's work. We can't proceed with the ceilings or drywalling until they do more wiring.
Post 82, American Legion, gave us a 3x5' American flag to replace the tattered one that was flying. Damon, thanks for sending out a thank you.
I will place another order with Neuens Lumber today so we can do some more framing on the second floor. By the way, in order for Ron to put the bathroom walls where the state insisted, Ron, Rick and I installed two more ceiling joists. 2x8x16 feet. Not your usually little stud. It looks like we'll have to put some also in the second floor ceiling and maybe the floor, where plumbers and electricians of yore hacked up the beams.
Visitors continue to stop in almost everyday. I've put the donation box right in the middle of the first floor so they almost have to trip over it to get into the Station. It doesn't matter that the museum artifacts are mothballed for the duration, as our guests are most interested in the restoration and the construction. Rick has cleaned up the generator building maritime display and its a big hit with the visitors.
One gentleman wondered if we had done any archaeology digs on the property. I know that's something Rick can't wait to begin, but I told him that too will happen, AFTER we get the Light Station put back together.
June 26, 2001
At least I can't say co-chairing the Restoration Project has been dull. The good news is that NPS, SHPO and Dale Mitchell, from the Wis. Dept. of Commerce are now working from the same plans. Sort of..
Planning a work day on Wednesday, 27 June. Anyone willing to hammer a few nails or remove aluminum siding is more than welcome. I'll probably be on site around 10:30. My days start slow, but I have a great finish.
Have been unable to contact Dan Dimmer regarding the brick cleaning. Have left several messages to no avail. Will keep trying.
Called Acker Millwork yesterday. Trying to get quote on new pine flooring, casement windows and wooden storms. Receptionist recalled my visit, but didn't get a return call. Maybe today.
Will phone Peter Paulus re: bricking in SW window and creating an opening for removed window in place of old kitchen window. He'll probably think I'm really unorganized as first I told him the windows go, then the windows stay, now 1 of the windows goes, etc. Hope he's still willing to work with us. If Dimmer is willing/able to do a test cleaning on the west side of the Light Station, masonry work could commence as soon as Paulus agrees to work.
Talked to Dennis C., harbormaster. Will leave a stack of fund raising pamphlets at the marina and told him he can call me whenever boaters have time and inclination to visit light station.
More visitors this past Sunday. Also collected $40 from Sir James Pub that Mary dropped off at Nancy M's. Every dollar counts. Have check for $250 'Step' from Marines Leatherneck Club. Will give check to Nancy.
June 27, 2001
Pete Acker of Acker Millwork Co., Milwaukee, will be on site between 9-9:30 this morning. So far, Acker is the only Millwork company I've found that can probably do the softwood flooring without having to purchase costly new blades. The flooring measures 1 1/8"x5 1/2" and fir simply doesn't come in those dimensions these days. Pete will also write a quote for the wooden storms and new casement windows needed in the first and second floor sunrooms. Our old photos show what those windows should look like.
Mary Latimer, from Appleton, is going to put in some volunteer hours today. Temp outside/inside will determine if we work indoors or outdoors.
Pete Paulus is back on the job and writing up a new quote for masonry work. He says we need to get the brickwork cleaned around the areas he will be bricking. He too will try to get a hold of Dan Dimmer who has done a test clean that looks good.
Our architect, Kathleen, has indicated to NPS that the bricks may have to be painted if a complete clean can't be accomplished. This is not our intent but rather a fallback if the cement slurry that was applied sometime prior to 1934 can't be removed. Rick and I removed a brick from the hole in the north attic wall that has the coating on it. The brick is coated with this slurry and hasn't been exposed to the weather since 1934. If necessary a chemical analysis could probably be done that would tell us exactly what is on the bricks.
Haven't heard from Superior Services yet regarding lead paint issue.
Went to Sheboygan yesterday. Struck out in trying to find other companies that do custom, wood storms and windows. The hunt continues.
More visitors yesterday. When they come up the 104 stairs I just can't say we're closed. Grandmother and grand-daughter. Lydia, the granddaughter was really sharp regarding Wisconsin history. Nice to know fourth graders are still getting a good dose of state history. Lydia and I took the time to share the story of Abby and keeping the light burning with her grandmother. One of the best children's lighthouse books.
Rick brought his 400 pound anchor to the LS. It now is in the SE corner of the lot with the boat chain attached. I managed to be late getting to the LS and thus avoided most of the work of dragging the anchor and chain about 60 feet from its trailer. The anchor is well anchored to the fence and the ground. Makes it more obvious that this is a maritime historical site.
Quote from Millen Roofing should be faxed to me today. Still haven't received a quote from Dehling/Voigt.
Created a 1 page/2 sided pamphlet for the new brass mailbox. Also dropped some off at the Harborside motel. Will run some more off today while I'm at the LS.
Ardy and crew removed memorabilia and artifacts from the LS to go into a display at the Port State Bank. Mark S. arranged for the display. Looks like we can keep it up all summer. Thanks, Ardy, Marianne and Marilyn.
Will give Joe Barclay a call today. Joe has indicated he can build the new first to second floor stairs for around $3,000. Costly, but none of us is able to do this work. Straight stairs are fairly easy to construct. Stairs with a winder and turned newel posts take some talent. I'll find out Joe's price and get it to the Board.
Found a brass, 4th order US lighthouse service lamp/burner going up for auction. That's what was used in the Light Station. Sent an email as to opening bid. Heart failure....opening bid is $3,285!! Guess I'll pass on this one. I know they're very rare but didn't have a clue as to cost. So, chances of our lantern having an actual 4th order burner, much less a 4th order fresnel lens seems pretty slim.
June 29, 2001
Received a call at the Light Station on Wednesday. National Trust was wondering how the project was going. Realized I hadn't notified NTHP about change in plans regarding the Luxembourg gift. Will add Jeanne Lambin, our Trust contact, to email list. The trust was our first grant, $2,000, so important to keep them informed.
Wednesday work day went well. Nancy S. and Mary Latimer, a new volunteer, tackled furring strips. We gingerly used the circular saw and table saw. Nancy's definitely got the knack.
Played phone tag with Peter Paulus and Dan Dimmer. Peter has submitted a quote of $7,000 for rebuilding the entrance steps. This includes the new matching cream city bricks and concrete. I recommend we accept the bid. Peter can do the work within a week or two of our approval. Damon: phone poll the board or do you want to convene a meeting? Let me know.
Finally crossed paths with Dan Dimmer this morning. He had been leaving messages on my cell phone which was laying in the car rather than hanging on my shorts. I'm not used to being this popular. Still get embarrassed when my pocket starts ringing. Dan will clean the areas around the entrance, SW window and kitchen window area so Peter can start that work that we've already approved.
Dan made it clear he wasn't donating his services as I had been led to believe. But he will be donating a portion of the fee. Right now I expect his quote to be around $20,000. Several applications of chemicals will have to be applied to clean the brick. The chemicals and methods he's using comply with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. NPS and Wis. State Historical Preservation Office will only sign off on the work if these standards are followed.
Ran into a glitch regarding the Coastal Zone Management Grant. Rick Bernstein, head of the Compliance Section at SHSW won't sign off on the grant as the application filed before we started this project included "waterproofing" of the brick. This information came from earlier bids gather ed when Andy Weber was pres. of our Society. It now seems clear that we won't and can't waterproof the brick. I left a lengthy message for Bernstein explaining the process and materials we're using. Also reminded him that State Historical and NPS already issued a conditional approval of our Preservation Plan, in March, 2001. I may have to send Bernstein a copy of the job specs to satisfy his needs.
Also left message for city manager, Mark Grams, to let him know the same info. As grant source is federal funds, it must go through a section 106 review by state Historical...
I removed some more siding from the generator building this morning. For the time being I recommend that we leave the homesote siding on the buildings, paint and caulk it. It will have to be eventually removed and replaced with a 10" clapboard. Same stuff on Light Station.
Mary L. started to replace the wood 2x4s that are imbedded in the brick walls. Only those nailing strips that have been destroyed by dry rot or carpenter ants need to be replaced and shimmed in.
Yesterday morning, before the building became an oven, Ron Mann lifted flooring from upstairs caretaker's apartment. New floor had to be installed in the area anyway as well as some joists replaced that have been butchered by past plumbers and electricians. The flooring was needed to fill in where the center staircase was. Looks pretty good. Thanks, Ron, for continuing your great work.
Rick S. comes and goes from the Light Station as he fills the role of Mr. Mom to his 2 daughters. Wednesday I left him when a visitor stopped by. I was beat and I figured it was his turn to give a tour. Has been cutting and cleaning old molding to be used in caretaker's apartment.
Met with Joe Barclay yesterday. Joe will be submitting a bid to do the first to second floor stairway. Indicated he may take a ride up to Rock Island this Sunday to photograph and measure the stairway in the Potowatamie Light. While only a story and a half, its interior is exactly like ours and was never remodeled. Joe works out of Port but still does a lot of restoration work in New England, so we have to get him when he's available.
Quote for new 1st floor flooring, approx. 1000 sq. ft., $5,300. Damon has suggested I look for a soft wood flooring that doesn't have to be milled to the 1 1/8 x 5 1/2" size. I went to Cedarburg Lumber to check out what they carry. Nothing even close. Even their "one inch" floor measures shy of 3/4". Passed me on to Kettle Moraine Hardwood of Hartford. Will try to call them today. I believe we need to go with as close to original as possible when keeping in mind our fiscal constraints.
Millen Roofing has submitted their estimate for the roofing, extensions, copper gutters, etc. $71,000. This includes installing the majority of the new roof in the next couple of months and then returning to the site when the tower and lantern arrive next Spring. Dehling/Voigt still hasn't sent me a quote. My personal choice was Millen all the way, but his quote appears to be way out of the ballpark. I sent him a fax asking if the quote was negotiable. Haven't heard back.
We can't build the new stairway until we get a delivery of drywall. Only way to get the sheets up to the second floor and attic is lifting them through the stairwell opening. Ronn Mann is trying to track down someone at National Gypsum that may be able to get us a discount.
I missed my phone messages on Wednesday and as a result I missed getting together with Charlie Brown to rewire the telephone lines in the building. He's leaving for summer camp, (counselor, not camper) so will be gone the rest of the summer. When I got him last night he said he'd try to get the work done if he comes home some weekends. Still waiting for a call from Ameritech. They're suppose to call me when they're going to bury the phone lines.
I'll be at the LS tomorrow, Saturday, for Maritime Heritage Day. Dimmer will be back to apply Dietrich 606 to areas Paulus needs cleaned. Will have to put up some type of tape or border to keep visitors away from chemicals. Rick to give his talk at 2 p.m. I think.
Invited a lighthouse lover into the station yesterday directly asked her for a donation. When she heard the donations are being matched dollar for dollar, she dropped 40 bucks into the box.
Having trouble tracking down 5 panel doors. Morgan Co., Oshkosh, was the big supplier but has stopped making the door. Joe B. will look for another source. Kathleen, you mentioned there might be salvage resources in Chicago. Have any suggestions?
Will be ordering insulation soon so we can proceed with the interior work. Will focus on South and west walls to prepare that area for building stairs.
Stopped in and talked to Bob Greisch yesterday. Told him its time for another plumbing visit. Probably early next week. Need Greisch to remove old stack and sewer pipes from 2nd floor bathroom. All this piping will be moved to new (old) wall, backing up to the ADA BR on the first floor. If Jeff (Mr. plumber) has the time, I'll have him remove some more extraneous hot water heat pipes. These also need to be moved to align with the new bearing walls.
Anybody out there feeling like they'd like to swing a hammer, tear off siding or cut a few boards, give me a call. Really. I do answer my phone occasionally.
Rick and I are set to be interviewed at the LS on July 11, 2001. I can't tell you how thrilled I am (not) to be in another TV camera's eye. Luxembourg TV wasn't bad as I figured no one within a 1000 miles would see the tape. Harbor Cities of the Great Lakes airs on PBS, so I may have to wear my best light station t shirt. Good publicity though.
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This page updated Wednesday, July 04, 2001