Monday, April 12, 2010

On your mark.....

The wall between the living room and the stairs being removed

It's been a hellacious three days.

Saturday, we took out the wall between the living room and the stairwell - it looks great, with the stairwell restored to it's original connection with the living room. We took off most of the fire escape - a huge job, involving heavy metal plates, rusted bolts and lots of danger. Tom tied a rope to one section of the fire escape, and after he had undone the bolts, I pulled it over on its support post. We took off baseboards and removed pipes, wiring, plumbing. We were at the house for about 8 hours.
Roping the fire escape
On Sunday, there was a torrential rainstorm. Despite this, we worked on taking off exterior trim - which mostly comes off very easily. We also pulled out the old wheelchair ramp at the back of the house - in the pouring rain. And we finished taking out the interior plumbing and wiring.

Then today, we met with Kevin and Noel from UC Berkeley, as well as the parking officers, Eric Angress and Phil Joy. Phil started the conversation by saying, "There's no way this can get done this weekend" We all freaked out - the University expects the house gone by Sunday, and we have been working with that as our goal.

But after some conversation (and some freaking out), it seems we're still on track. Phil and Eric are back at the site tomorrow, to start really getting the house ready. They will begin the process of inserting steel beams into the second floor. Later this week, they'll lift the second floor off the first floor, and slide the first floor forward to be put on dollies. Then the second floor is lowered, and put on dollies, and taken away.

By Monday, the Cheney Cottage will be in Albany Village.

We're exhausted, stressed out - and still enjoying this in some bizarre way. We must be crazy.

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