Construction is underway at the Edge Hill Service Station. The hammering of nails, the whirl of drills and saws, and the beautiful noise of progress can be heard as our dream for this Gloucester landmark moves closer to reality. In late September Courthouse Construction began the stabilization phase of our restoration project. Removing just enough plaster to verify areas of rot, termite damage, and instability in the walls and roof, they scabbed and sistered the damaged studs while replacing much of the sill. By the time you read this they will have started on the roof. Before the end of the month, much of that flat roof will be repaired or replaced and before the end of the year the stabilization phase will be complete and we should have a building that no longer leaks.
Do you want to see the progress in person? Email us (email@example.com) or give us a call (804-815-4467) to schedule a tour.
The devil (and the new discoveries) are in the details, though. The “word of the week” for the first five days was “recycling.” The metal ductwork, worn metal lath, the fuse box, fluorescent light fixtures, display shelves from the 1990s, and metal conduit from throughout the building avoided the landfill and went straight to the recycling center. We moved donated exhibit cases, scrap lumber, bread racks (great for artifact drying shelves), and an old depth gauge for the long-gone underground gas tanks into our storage shed. We flagged and saved all of the brackets, eye hooks, and early metal light fixtures in the ceiling which we will carefully conserve and replace. We saved everything we could – even the kitchen sink (two, actually, including one donated to the cause by some friends). All of this recycling will benefit our application for LEED Certification, and is just plain old good sense!
Consider a donation to help us fund the stabilization and restoration of the station. Just click on Donate button (on the upper right) to make a contribution and join the Fairfield Foundation.
What of the other discoveries, you ask? We found intact portions of the building’s original rear (north) wall sealed within the mid-1930s expansion. This included old stucco and the scuppers which drained the original roof structure. We found evidence of more shelving (gone for years) in the west garage bay and the northwest corner room, and confirmed that the front door and the ladies room door are both 1970s replacements, despite the fact that they match the style of the 1930s building to a “T” (Texaco pun intended). Most importantly, though, we found two really great guys in Robert and Jimmy – Courthouse Construction’s restoration team working on our project. They’ve put in long days to move us forward and their hard work and attention to detail is a great benefit.
Want to help? We’ll continue with our successful window workshops later this month and you can join us in re-glazing the gas station.
Once the roof and walls are repaired, we will return to complete the window restoration. We are very close with the three large windows on the west side, and it should only take a few more dedicated days to get these windows to sparkle like they did in the 1930s. If you’re driving through Gloucester, be sure to check out the station as you pass by and let us know what you think.
Mary Gainer says
I check progress every week and am thrilled to see you guys working on this building.