by Client Services Manager Jeremy Gould.
Greetings all, I wanted to take this chance to introduce everybody to the Shipley-Cook barn restoration project. Arciform founder Richard De Wolf has vowed to remove one building from Restore Oregon’s “Endangered Places” list each year, and the Shipley-Cook barn is this year’s choice. Past projects include the DAR cabin in Champoeg, the Smokehouse in Dayton and the First Congregational Church in Portland.
One of the many cool things about this project is that since this barn is on the historic registry, Adam needed to use “period correct” lumber and construction methods. This means we had to special order “circular sawn” lumber from a saw mill out of Idaho. Circular sawn means that the lumber was cut with a very large circular saw blade (as opposed to a band saw) that measure three feet in diameter. These blades give the lumber a curved striation on the face. Because different sized blades have been used throughout the years, you can actually judge the age of the existing lumber by measuring the curve of this striation.
The barn was partially collapsing because the siding was missing which allows rain to access the interior. This project is basically replacing one of the main foundation/mud sill beams that has almost entirely rotted out.
This will be no easy task since the beam is approximately 12” x 12” and a little over 30’ long! The lumber company tells me the beam weighs almost 2000 lbs. On top of replacing the beam, project manager Adam Schoeffel and lead carpenter Eric Delph needed to raise that end of the barn approximately 6” or 7”, replace all the siding there and some of the framing members (perlins and posts).
Rick Cook is the owner of the Shipley-Cook barn and as you can tell from the name, this barn has been in his family for awhile. He currently is a teacher for West Linn High School and is incredibly grateful for Richard’s help in making this project happen as well as Brandon with Restore Oregon. The project is being funded by a grant that Richard and Brandon helped Rick attain. Here is a link to a really cool video showing the barn with footage from a drone http://restoreoregon.org/event/barns/. Click on the video once you follow the link and also look for the barn to be mentioned in future Restore Oregon events and advertising. You can also look for Eugene Wine Cellars wine made with grapes grown on the Shipley-Cook property!
Here you can see the completed project. We were proud to save this little piece of Oregon’s Pioneer history.
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We are delighted to report that the Oregon State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution have commissioned Arciform to begin rescuing one of Restore Oregon’s 2013 Most Endangered Places, the Pioneer Mother’s Cabin in Champoeg, Oregon.
Threatened by the encroaching Willamette River, the historic Pioneer Mother’s Cabin will be minutely catalogued, tagged, deconstructed and prepped for storage by Arciform starting this week as part of a multi-year project that will ultimately see the cabin restored and re-built on the grounds of the Robert Newell House and Museum.
Although the structure is in overall good condition, the south bank of the Willamette River has eroded to within 20 feet of the cabin walls. Moving the cabin to higher ground is imperative to prevent the structure from sustaining water and flood damage this winter. Deconstruction will begin November 11th and will be coordinated by Arciform Project Manager Scott Mumma in collaboration with Arciform owner and historic preservation advocate Richard De Wolf.
De Wolf explains,
“We’re honored and excited to help rescue this important historic structure. Our team has extensive experience with historic restoration projects including the Heceta Head Lighthouse, the Waggoner Farmstead and the Silver Falls Historic Log Cabin. We look forward to putting that experience to work in support of this important effort.”
The Pioneer Mothers Memorial Cabin was built in 1931 to honor female pioneers and house artifacts that crossed the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s. Built with funds raised by the Oregon State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), it today operates as a museum and living history exhibit for school children.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Primary goals of the multi-phase preservation project include upgrading the engineering to meet current code without modifying the look and feel of the historic structure and upgrading the comfort and energy performance characteristics of the structure. Deconstruction will require careful cataloguing of each element to be sure that it can be reconstructed in a way that will conserve and restore as much of the existing architectural material as possible. The reconstruction phase will include comfort and performance upgrades like the integration of insulation into the roof and a seismic upgrade that will require drilling threaded rods through the structure to invisibly lock the logs to the foundation.
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Arciform owner Richard De Wolf spent the last few days volunteering to help restore one of Oregon’s Most
Endangered Places, a historic smokehouse.
Here’s a report from the field about their progress:
We’ve had a great few days at the smokehouse. Here is a brief report of what we’ve found and done.
When we got there, the building was leaning seriously forward and to one side. My heart sank as I thought it might have been way too far gone. I didn’t even want to take a picture. The owner had the church group come out and “clean out” the smokehouse, which sounds exciting, but they also removed some of our structural support and staircase. The staircase was the only thing giving the building shear strength. Well, we didn’t let that get us down. We had it back up and straight by lunch, but that ate into our labor hours by 1.5 man days. Now that we had the structure straight again, we started doing pin point measuring and got all four corners level and plumb.
It really started looking great, at least to those who had seen it within the last twenty or so years. We are making headway! Then, we cut the rotted studs ends and put a new plate under the long wall on the right side of the building. (All of my directions are if you have your back to the main house and you are looking at the sliding doors) We then added a temporary shear panel to the interior of that wall to give the building rigidity that it never had. The opposite long wall was destined to be re-framed, so we removed that wall completely after shoring up the rafters and adding three replacement floor joists. When we got deeper into the removal, we found evidence that the side door was added later, so we made the bold decision to frame the new wall without the doorway. The door was set to the side for safe keeping.
Another bold move was that when we found that about two-thirds of the front wall had been replaced with new framing, or that the few old studs that were left had been rotted up about four feet, we decided to cut the lower portion of the studs out behind the new ceiling joist. This way, plans can be made for future use as to how the doors would want to be installed. Either for convenience, or historical accuracy, the groundwork has been laid to make and implement a quick and easy application. A new sill plate has been installed to aid in this.
All of the framing being used is vintage barn wood of the same species and compatibility with the rest of the structure, When necessary to mill the wood to new dimensions, we placed the cut side towards the siding side so the fresh cut wood is not visible or distracting from the appearance. While digging, we noticed lots of remnants of the original brick infill foundation and used that material and other brick from the property to dry set supports for the new pressure treated sill. The original structure appeared to be above grade which allowed air to flow in from the ground level, probably to aid in circulation for the action of the smokehouse.
A new top plate timber was created with matching notches to receive the wall studs. Three or four new rafters will be installed tomorrow, and the skip sheathing will be installed with new old barn wood where appropriate. New fasteners, where appropriate were hidden.
The intent is to leave the smokehouse free standing and framed completely. The temporary support beam and bracing will be removed Thursday. Siding, original wood, the doors and window will be left in the structure after back-filling and raking the dirt floor. The plywood shear panels will be left as a measure to continue and protect the building. These can be removed in the future as they were installed with screws. (the original studs had many nail and screw holes, so this did not deter from the originality of the structure.) Arciform will re-asses the finances and if there is money left over, will provide and install standard galvanized agricultural metal roof panels to protect the building. Traditionally, the building would have had wood shingles. This will be done during the summer season when our work schedule opens up again between jobs.
We can’t wait to see the finished restoration of this historic smokehouse. We’ll keep you posted.