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Ted Hall
June 12, 2009 | Farmstead | Ted Hall

Back to Earth

Posted by Ted Hall

The drama at our Farmstead site at 738 Main Street continues to unfold.

In a little more than four weeks the crews working with Frank Borges, Jr. General Contracting have managed to build a new foundation under the historic Logan/Ives House.

You will recall that the house was lifted four feet in the air to allow for removal of the rocks and stumps that made up the foundation of the building when it was constructed in 1874.  We then built a new foundation (with "sustainable" concrete) and constructed a vault for the new heating and cooling system to be installed under the house.

Today the house was lowered back to earth using gigantic hydraulic jacks.  Guided by long lag bolts, the house was lowered to the new foundation in increments a few inches at a time.  

Much like on the way up, the house hardly made a sound as its weight was borne by the new foundation - just a little "clicking and ticking."

Frank and his crew quickly went into the house to see if it was still plumb (i.e., "square").  Much to everyone's delight (and amazement) the doors and windows opened and closed freely.

The lag bolts were snipped off and nuts tightened to secure the house to the foundation.  Now, not even an old-fashioned California earthquake is going to knock this fine building off its feet (sorry, no tornados here, Dorothy). 

Amazingly, Tim Brown, the framing subcontractor, and his crew were able to work on the entire structure while the house was up in the air.  The old framing needs to be brought up to modern standards for safety reasons.  

However, instead of using new lumber, we have used many of the old redwood studs and beams, just in new locations.  Keeping the original materials in use really feels right - like keeping a set of old china intact.  These pieces belong together.

We hope to complete the framing work by the end of June.  At that point, we will be doing relatively straightforward plumbing, electrical and finish work.  As a result, we are still planning to open our tasting room sometime in October.

Keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, we have our feet securely on the ground.


Posted by Ted Hall


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