Monday, August 17, 2009

Landscaping Begins

Today, carpenters and masons from our general contractor arrived on site to continue our projects at the Amstel House.

The carpenters will be applying painted trim boards at the top of the rake boards at the gable end of the the Amstel kitchen wing and the south side of the Dutch House. The trim board is simply a 1" x 2" that will be fit directly beneath the edge of the new roofing shingles to cover the gap that is created by our layered roofing system (about 1/2"). While the trim board is not an historically accurate ele
ment of either house, it is completely reversible and will protect the roof sheathing while giving a finished appearance to the rakes. It allows us to install a roofing system that has a Class A fire rating instead of a Class B. So we are willing to add the new element for the overall protection of the structures.

The masons are here to develop a materials list for their accessibility and drainage project at the rear of the Amstel House. They will begin removing bricks from the walkway at the rear door of the building (the museum shop door). they will be pulling all the bricks up individually and mapping the individual location of every brick so that when they put the walk back down, the bricks will be in exactly the same configuration that they are currently in.

Between taking the bricks up and putting them back, they will install underground drainage pipes to carry roof water from the downspouts to the new dry well in the center of the yard. Then they will regrade the area to create a gentle slope up to the rear door that will meet ADA requirements and allow people that use wheelchairs easy access to the museum.

Speaking of digging holes and walkways....

I need to provide an update about what the archaeologists found. The big finds were a few post holes that might indicate the location of a fence in the back yard, and a brick walk that was discovered about 18 inches below grade where we are going to be placing one of our drain pipes. The post holes could be 18th century - we're not sure of the age of the brick walk - though earlier surfaces were discovered in the trench at deeper levels. Here's a pic of the archaeologists uncovering the buried walkway:

Tomorrow I'll post pics of the completed trim boards on the rakes.