Herrick Building restoration getting into action

By From page A1 | July 31, 2013

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THE HANGING DUMMY wears a hardhat and safety vest in preparation for the main work to begin on the Herrick Building on Main Street in Placerville Aug. 5. Democrat photos by Krysten Kellum

“We’ve been doing a lot of planning and cleaning,” said Sue Taylor, “and when you see the front come down, we’ll be moving fast.”

It’s been 15 months since Tim and Sue Taylor of Camino bought 301 and 305 Main Street, known as the Herrick Building and the Hangman’s Tree building. Pictures showing the planned restoration of the structures adorn the front of the boarded up Hangman’s Tree building, but not much visible change has occurred.

That is about to change, according to Sue Taylor. During the week of Aug. 5, Montgomery Contractors will be bringing in a 60-foot beam to stabilize the buildings. The company, who moved the Fausel House into its present location, will be working on stabilization as the Taylors work on repairing and renovating the exterior of the buildings.

“We’ll have to stop traffic on both sides of  Main Street for a few minutes while they bring the beam in,” said Taylor, “but we’re trying to do it around 6 in the morning to minimize the impact.

“There is an I-beam and four posts holding up the front of the building,” said Taylor. “After an earthquake in the 1930s the buildings were reinforced, but the front was not replaced so it has the original brick footings and beam. We are replacing the footings with reinforced concrete and then we will repair and replace the damaged brick.”

After the new beam is moved into place, it will protrude out onto the sidewalk temporarily while the footings are replaced and the concrete cures.

“This is probably the most invasive thing we will do and we want to do it quickly to mitigate the impact to shop owners and visitors,” said Taylor.

Both buildings will have new store fronts, with the front of the Herrick Building being restored first. The Taylors then plan to  remove the plaster facade of the Hangman’s Tree building and restore the original wood of the structure, including the corbels and the wood trim around the windows.

“The front of the Hangman’s building will look more like it did when it was built,” said Taylor. They will also have to level the sloping floor of the Hangman’s building and replace the building roof. “We were hoping the roof would last another few years, but, after a detailed inspection, we decided to replace it,” said Taylor. “It’s no good doing intensive work in the bottom if the roof isn’t replaced.”

The condition of the buildings was no surprise to Taylor who worked as a volunteer to help with safety mitigation measures under the previous ownership.

While planning and waiting for building permits, the Taylors and their team have been working on cleaning the interior of the buildings, clearing out dry-rot and replacing dry-rotted corner beams with wood the same age as the buildings. Coordinating the scheduling of work crews and phases of the project has also taken time, said Taylor.

“I wish we could move faster, but we going at the pace we can afford. We’re people that do stuff.”

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530-344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.

Wendy Schultz

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