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@LMR (the ranch blog)

Ted Hall
May 15, 2009 | Ted Hall

Four Feet in the Air

The amazing house lifting operation is completed.

The historic Logan/Ives house has been raised a full four feet (48"), and now rests on 19 supports.

The perimeter stone foundation has been removed and stockpiled. The underside has been completely cleaned out of all rocks, stone, stumps, timber chunks, concrete debris, etc. It is amazing to see what was placed under the house 125 years ago.  Looks like there were no building inspectors in those days!

New floor joists are being inserted and the floor is being straightened with shims. Excavation for the new concrete foundation is being laid out and dug by hand.

Everything is proceeding remarkably smoothly.  We still hope to open our new tasting room before the end of the harvest season.

I have my fingers crossed.

Time Posted: May 15, 2009 at 7:13 AM
Ted Hall
May 8, 2009 | Ted Hall

House Raising Without a Creak!

Logan/Ives House lifted 16 inches off its foundationOur future tasting room was lifted 16 inches today without a creak.

The historic Logan/Ives house was lifted today using hydraulic jacks.  This amazing feat happened without incident.  The house didn't make a sound.

The next step is to lift the house another 32 inches on Monday.  When completed, the house will be a full 48 inches (four feet!) off the ground.

Hydraulic jacks lifting the houseWe are lifting the house so that we can completely rebuild the foundation while keeping its historic character in tact.  On Monday and Tuesday we'll be removing the old foundation and getting ready to pour new footings. 

We can already see that the old foundation included some old tree stumps and rock piles.  In 1874 you used whatever was at hand. 

Can't wait to see what else we find.

Pumping truck for hydraulic jacksWe're going to make the new footings using concrete with a high component of fly ash.  Fly ash is a fine, glass-like powder recovered from gases created by coal-fired electric power generation, which is usually dumped in landfills. But, fly ash is also an inexpensive replacement for the portland cement used in concrete, while it actually improves strength, segregation, and ease of pumping of the concrete. 

So, we're diverting stuff from landfill and making better concrete with what is usually considered "waste."

More about the our overall "green" strategy later, but this is just one example of how doing the "right thing" can make the outcome better - and less expensive.

Time Posted: May 8, 2009 at 10:00 PM
Ted Hall
April 9, 2009 | Ted Hall

Ground Broken at LMR Winery & Farmstead Site

Yesterday was a major milestone for us.

Ground Breaking at White Hall NuseryFirst, we broke ground at the site of our new tasting room and offices - part of the LMR Winery & Farmstead project in St. Helena.

Laddie, Chris, and I were joined by Sheamus Feeley (our executive chef), Kevin Twohey (Whiting Nursery), and Frank Borges and Tony Gouveia (Borges Construction).

The crew began site preparation yesterday morning on the historic Logan/Ives House which will be the new home to our tasting room. Removal of the asbestos shingles will start on Monday. And, in about two weeks the house will be raised four feet in the air so that we can rebuild the foundation under it!

Second, last night we had a very informal reception for our staff and the members of our extended team who have worked so hard to get this project moving so quickly.

LMR wines flowed and Sheamus Feeley prepared LMR grass-fed beef meatballs with tomato-ginger marmalade, "Sheamus-made" ricotta with LMR Rutherford Gardens apple butter, LMR deviled eggs with crispy bacon, and LMR grass-fed beef tartare with chive blossoms and radishes. 

What a treat!

Hanging the Farmstead BannerWe capped off the evening with a ceremony as we hung a banner announcing our project on the fence along Main Street.