It may sound like the sky is falling overhead, but we assure you, it is not! If anything, it is the opposite! The Cannery has a sound-scape of a different kind these days because the construction team have been hard at work replacing interior support structures. And if it was like watching the circus before, this past week has been like watching magicians! The Seismic 2000 construction team are making things happen so swiftly, you would barely notice any changes. This just means they are working within the confined parameters of a national historic site. And by this I mean, they are successfully retaining the Cannery’s original appearance and structural integrity, while working to make the building more structurally sound.
Next time you come to the Cannery, take note of the building’s architecture. It is not only a 100+ year old industrial site, but it is also unique because it is almost entirely made of wood, including its support structure. The beams are long, wide and one piece can run the length of the building. After a hundred years, a few of these beams were ready to toss in their towels, so to speak. Last week the Seismic 2000 team removed and replaced a few significant support beams in the Cannery.
The team deconstructed a wall in the herring reduction plant to tackle a rotten beam. Before removing the beam, they set up a reinforcement structure to hold the roof in place. Once removed, they replaced the old beam with a new one and rebuilt the wall’s interior. The original window has been replaced, and now the original exterior and interior wall panels are ready to be reset. And once they are, it’ll be hard to tell any changes were made at all. Magic!
To ensure the sky doesn’t fall, the team has been replacing sizable lintels (a horizontal support of timber across the top of a door or window) inside the Cannery. Last week they replaced one near the big skiff. And by the end of the week, they were working on one between the herring reduction plant and the canning line area, near the receiving dock. Again, support structures and scaffolding were set in place for a safe and successful transition from the old lintel to the new one. If you come by today, you may still be able to see the tricks of their trade and catch them completing these tasks.