The first phase of the restoration process is almost complete.
It looks a bit like something out of Gulliver’s Travels, but engineer Mark Shoalts has driven 14 very large screws – German-made Krinner ground screws – all around the church. He explains how the process works: “The screws [are] driven down just to the level of the bracket that will be inserted under each post.”
Slightly adjusting the design, Shoalts decided to keep the screws just above grade and to make extensions for each bracket of varying lengths “because the grade falls more than 12″ from the northeast to the southwest corner.” Working with Lawrence Thomas from Aduvo and Kirk Dressel from Dressel’s Steelworks, Shoalts has been able to ensure the necessary modifications realize the goal of stabilizing the building.
Once in the ground the screws are all but invisible, however the brackets supporting the posts are there to mystify the uninformed – but they are an important first step in the journey to restoration!