Starting at the beginning
by Ginger Graham
Construction and renovation are well underway at the future site of Ginger and Baker and many people have expressed interest in the process of restoring our 100+ year-old building, so we’re excited to share our progress here on the blog. In the next few renovation posts, we’ll work to update you with photos and descriptions of the work done so far.
Let’s start at the beginning. After the groundbreaking on August 15th, 2016, we began the real work, partnering with Dohn Construction to build our new structure adjacent to the old Feeders Supply and clean and renovate the historic Feed Mill at 359 Linden Street.
Prepping the lot for excavation. Deep cleaning the interior.
One of the first tasks was to remove the weigh-scale buried adjacent to the Feed Mill. The huge scale is considered part of the historic building and we’ll return the scale platform to its original place beside the Mill after construction is completed. Years ago, trucks pulled up parallel to the Mill and and grain and supplies were weighed. Who knows how long it has been since the scale worked!?
Lifting the scale from its concrete frame. The underground lifting mechanism was visible once the steel platform was removed. We saved these cross arms and hope to find a way to use them in the renovation.
The big challenge to the excavation was to dig the footprint for the new building in a “zero lot line” environment. We are digging right to the property line, which is surrounded on three sides by streets and one side by the historic feed mill. This includes digging as close to the historic mill as we could safely dig so that we can integrate the two buildings, making the old three-story building fully accessible on several levels.
You can imagine that digging “right to the edge” is a little tricky. There’s a special excavation technique called ‘soil nail shoring’ that allowed us to dig over 20 feet straight into the ground, much like you would for a large skyscraper. The process involved drilling and grouting many permanent soil nails under the existing alley and stabilizing the excavation by spraying shotcrete (concrete) onto the exposed dirt, tying it to the soil nails.
Detail of soil nail shoring
We were fortunate to secure an experienced excavation team including KL&A Structural Engineers and HTM Construction, who worked on the design and shoring stabilization efforts with Dohn Construction, helping us get the project underway. Once the team finished one level of digging and secured the perimeter, they dug further down, repeating the procedure, to reach the full depth of the new basement. Now we’ll have a rock solid foundation to build upon.
The first level of excavation and soil nail shoring. After the second level of shoring was complete.
If you live in Northern Colorado, we hope you’ll drive by the construction site to see our progress. Stay tuned for more updates!