All in all, this was a very good beginning.
Early morning on the Commons was simply beautiful as we embarked upon the opening of the 20th annual "Colonial Times, A Day to Remember" event. A year of preparation has culminated in a diverse gathering of reenactors and living history interpreters with anticipated attendance in the thousands.
While we did not get the Shop completed to the point that we could have visitors come inside, setting up on the porch afforded us the opportunity to share a glimpse of what the New Windsor Shop will become as we grow into the future.
All in all, this was a very good beginning.
Well, the start of our big annual event is finally here! While the Shop on the hillside is not ready for prime-time during School Days, we are just one day away from our debut -on the Saturday of Colonial Times!
Today we hosted 1,000 school children from the local Georgia and South Carolina public, private, and home schools.
Enjoy some pictures from the day.
Well, we made a good run at getting the build complete by the October 15 date for our annual Colonial Times "A Day to Remember" event but we have run a little short on time and funds.
View as you come in from the Lake Avenue entrance.
View from Lake Avenue.
View of the lower level from the path to the Barn.
Interior view across the Shop and into the Wareroom.
While we did not get the building 100% complete, the exterior is 98% done and the interior will be simple to finish once the final funds are secured. I hope to have the construction complete before cold weather sets in so that we can use the shop over the winter.
For the October event, we will be set up to demonstrate on the front porch and talk to the public about the Shop. I hope to see you this weekend as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Colonial Times: A Day to Remember.
That's all for now...
We continue to push forward to complete as much as we could over the past week as we are on the down hill slide now with less than a week before our annual Colonial Times "A Day to Remember" event.
Speaking of concrete landscape blocks and retaining walls, we simply would not have the beautiful terrace walls were it not for the dedication and perseverance of some special members of the US Navy Chiefs from Fort Gordon. Steve, Aaron and Germina your volunteer dedication and contribution are unparalleled. Thank You!
And finally for the week, we had a bit of an unexpected surprise. Someone in government saw fit that we receive new pavement on Lake Avenue right out in front of our front door.
5 Days and counting!
Wow! The exterior of the Shop has dramatically transformed over the past week as we push to finish in time for our Colonial Times "A Day to Remember" event on October 14-16, 2011. We now have paint, windows, doors and siding.
A special thanks to Will Steele of Victor Bilt for the special pricing on the windows and doors. The craftsmanship of their products are fitting for our shop and their generosity helped make the Shop a reality.
The siding product we selected for cost, maintenance, and aesthetic reasons was a concrete based product. Philip Shivel of Lansing Building Products negotiated with James Hardie USA/Canada for special consideration in the purchase of their Colorplus HardiePlank siding & trim.
Inside the Shop we are adding a spectacular detail that is not only beautiful but also functions to hold the walls together.
Ok... Ok... OK! Yes, we are an 18th Century Cabinetmaker's shop. And, No, electricity was not a part of an 18th Century structure unless something had gone enormously wrong. So then, why am I about to show you pictures of people wiring the Shop with electricity?
From the outset, the vision for the New Windsor Cabinet Shop was one of a venue for both 18th Century and 21st Century events. A space to demonstrate the historic wood trades of a bygone era and a place to host and embrace modern day working. You could do the former both then and now but the latter can only be done now and often times requires a plug. :-)
Check out the Classes tab on the website. We will be offering period skill and project classes as well as present day classes. Have no fear, if you can see the electrical outlets you are in a modern day class. If you are in a period class, whats an outlet!
This week we received a helping hand from both local and national companies. This project simply would not have been possible without the support of these organizations. My thanks to each of the following companies for without their help and the help of other companies and individuals like them, the Shop would still be a dream in my head. You can click on many of the logos and link directly to their websites.
Another great week of progress.
Work has continued on the outside of the project this past week and we have a roof. On the Barn side of the Shop, the Wareroom deck is in, the lower retaining wall is nearing completion and the grading for the upper wall is underway.
A short wall has been added to the Garden side of the Shop. This will allow us to build up the path leading down the hill towards the Garden and widen it out with the dirt from the foundation excavation.
As the October event draws near, an additional project was undertaken to provide more comfort for our visitors. Once again, Augusta Concrete Block provided the foundation material for this project in the form of 12 sets of concrete bench bases. A little pressure treated lumber with some precision cutting and drilling and we ended up with 12 really nice benches.
Thank you Augusta Concrete Block for your continual generosity. It is hard to look in any direction within the Park and not see a demonstration of your munificence!
Work continued over the last week with finishing off the roof decking on the front of the Shop, the addition of the front porch, and the start of cedar shakes. The guys froms Starnes Co. continue to do a stellar job.
Work started in earnest this week on shaping and improving the land surrounding the Shop. What once was a moderate slope began to take on the form of a multi-terraced landscape. Augusta Concrete Block once again came to our aid in the form of hundreds of concrete landscaping blocks. We were also joined by a small contingent of US Navy Chiefs from Fort Gordon. The Chiefs have a long standing history of service to our park. For this, we are thankful.
That's all for this week.
With the base structure in place, the past 2 weeks have been filled with sealing the basement and closing the roof to keep the water out.
Gravel is then poured in between the form and the block wall and dirt is backfilled on the outside of the form. This creates a 12" wall of gravel the entire length and depth of the foundation wall which ensures excellent drainage into the pipe at the base of the wall. The dirt is then compacted to complete the backfilling process.
The last activity for the week was to dig and pour the 5 footings for the front porch. I could not pass up the opportunity to point out to the builder, David, that the footings were not perfectly aligned. After a slight glare, he assured me that the were level and more than adequate to meet their intended purpose. Which, I knew, but I just could not help myself. :-)
Over the past 2 weeks, we continue to be honored by donations or discounts of product or services provided by the following North Augusta/Augusta area businesses.
This coming week, the front porch will be added, the roof should be completed and we might get windows and doors. Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed.
As always, we would welcome and appreciate any donations to assist us in completing the project. Contact me at Chris@NewWindsorShop.org to make a donation.
We are a month into the project and finally a likeness of the Shop is beginning to emerge. Kevin Starnes of Starnes Company and his crew have spent the past two weeks framing the building.
The weather has continued to be hot with temperatures in the high 90's and high humidity, but not as hot as the preceding weeks of 100-degree days.
Kevin and his team have done a fantastic job of getting the framing underway and completing the base structure. I will admit that we had a few design changes on the fly and some adjustments that caused rework, but all were handled well by Kevin and his top-notch team.
God help the framer that has to undergo the scrutiny and exacting eye of a cabinetmaker. Fortunately, Kevin's attention to detail and and focus on quality passed muster in my book.
As is the case every week, local companies stepped forward to help out our construction efforts with a meaningful donation or discount. Through the generosity of companies like these this project is well on its way to completion. You can click on many of the logos and link directly to their websites.
Over the two next weeks we will push forward with waterproofing the basement walls, backfilling the foundation and getting the roof on.
It is a tradition that members of the US Navy Chiefs from Fort Gordon hold an annual work day at the Park. This year, their 8th anniversary, we hosted around 75 Chiefs. The amount of work that this highly coordinated group can achieve in 4 hours is phenomenal! This year the Chiefs cleared brush, cut up firewood, cleaned up around the Shop and laid tile in the Kitchen.
Several of the Chiefs brought their tile laying talents to the Kitchen floor and what an upgrade!
The Navy Chiefs are a tremendous asset to our community and the Park. We appreciate their longstanding commitment and contributions.