House of Vacuums, Part 3 & "The Sign"
The theme so far is demo and that appears to be where we are staying for awhile. We've mentioned that one of the buildings will be Elliotts Insurance office, one will be our office, two spaces will be a restaurant, and another space a potential rental space... so hopefully a lot of people in and out of this building. Even though we want to save as much as we can of the original structure, we have to make the building safe first. When we had the floors removed from the far left building (Elliott Insurance), we realized some of the floor joists underneath were in too bad of shape to be reused. The beams that were in place are true 2"x12" rough sawn lumber spanning 20 feet from wall to wall.
There was some evidence of a fire in the building (that you can see underneath) and then moisture damage, age, etc. We were able to save some of the joists, but a lot we had to replace. We decided to keep the beams we removed to use as stair treads in the building. After replacing the damaged beams with new 2"x12"s, we supported the entire floor underneath with an engineered beam coupled with steel posts. The steel posts will be hidden on the first floor in between walls, so you should never know they are there!
Now, the sign! The sign is actually a thin metal sheet that spans all the way across the 3 buildings. The sheer size of it makes it difficult to take down, move or restore. It sits in a tubular metal frame that is attached to the building, then the sheet metal was hand painted. We were initially afraid we wouldn't be able to take it down without a ton of damage to it, but then we realized we could probably cut the brackets off the building (hopefully). Because it's already in a few pieces, we may have to cut it in order to get it all down and moved. But, all that being said, the plan is to save the sign! In a perfect world, we can get the sign down, build a stronger frame, and relocate it to above the building. We are thinking about moving it to the back of the building because in that spot, you could see it from Patton Island Bridge and the new North Alabama Medical Center. We think that would be pretty cool!