Preserving History and Saving Memories 2

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My story began HERE (click to read) when the County built a new elementary school and began to tear down the one that Mr. Menace and his children attended.

BEFORE:

Concord Elementary School, Alabama Schools

 

Thanks to Tuesdays with a Twist for featuring this post!

 

He was really interested in saving some bits and pieces of the old building and made several trips gathering bricks (read “future patio”) as they tore down the walls.

We even walked around inside one day wondering about the possibility of salvaging pieces. And while I found Mr. Menace’s memories fascinating, there really wasn’t anything else that we could rescue without weeks of time and preparation and permission.

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School

But as I explained HERE, on the way to work one day we noticed that the whole building had been leveled to the ground. Mr. Menace had to turn back.

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School

Boy am I glad he did.

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School

Because the piece that we really wanted was there.

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School

It was there, on the ground. In pieces.

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School

But nobody loves a good challenging puzzle any better than Mr. Menace. (See the beaver skull puzzle HERE!)

He attached two heavy duty brackets to the wall of our house to hold the bulk of the weight. Then he attached straps to the wall to hold the heavy piece on the brackets.

I worried about how he was going to get the pediment lifted up onto the wall. Now, don’t get me wrong; I never doubted whether he COULD get it up there, just how stressful it might be.

DURING:

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School

Thank goodness for neighbors with boom trucks! Mr. Menace had everything ready, so all Mr. Neighbor had to do was lift it into place and hold it a few minutes while Mr. Menace secured it to the wall.

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School

And just like that, in about 15-20 minutes, it was DONE! whew…

Well.

Except for the rest of it.

But getting it on the wall was the biggest hurdle and it had been jumped!

Now, to cover up those glaring silver brackets! We wanted corbels and we looked at antique ones but we needed a unique size and they would have to be hollow or solid with the possibility of being hollowed out.

A friend had some corbels that he wasn’t using so we took them home and held them up and realized that we needed simple ones, not ornate ones.

building corbels, custom corbel, simple corbel

Ultimately, Mr. Menace decided he would just make some.

building corbels, custom corbel, simple corbel

He cut the sides out of some very thin plywood, glued them together and then filled the inside with GREAT STUFF. After it dried, he carved and sanded it to the proper shape. Painted them and hollowed out the back to fit onto the brackets.

building corbels, custom corbel, simple corbel

They are very light weight and were easy to attach.

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School, make your own corbels

When he rescued the pediment from the trash pile, he was lucky enough to find the school name board that was originally underneath.

The letters for the name of the school had been reused at the new school so again, Mr. Menace decided to make his own. If you look carefully at the board you can faintly see the shadow of the original letters.

AFTER:

Preservation, Pediment, Concord School, make your own corbels

We will be adding a light to emphasis the beautiful pediment at night.

It is pretty astonishing to see the BEFORE and the AFTER and really shows the incredible work Mr. Menace did.

 

 

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38 comments

  1. Lisa Hollowell says:

    That is so neat! I will share this with Hunter as he always likes to see Dennis’s projects. What a great piece of history on your home. 🙂

  2. Deana says:

    Beautiful! Both my boys attended the old Concord school, I had no idea anything more than individual bricks were salvaged, and they went fast. Happy to see the memories that so many share! Thank you for sharing this project! I, too, am happy your hubby turned back to find this wonderful keepsake! And what a beautiful way to display it!

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