Saving Tower 17


June, 2004


The reassembly began soon after the tower was relocated to RRM.  An inspection of the wood frame showed that the tower had suffered no termite damage and very little rot, which is surprising for a building this old.  Overall, probably 20% or less of the wood will have to be replaced, which is very good news.

The existing stair structure was in poor condition, and plans have been submitted to the city for the new stairway.  To minimize water damage and stress to the Tower 17 structure itself, the new stairs will be entirely self supporting.  They will resemble the stairs that were attached to the tower when it was retired, but the new set will be a bit wider and the slope more gentle.

The acrobat in the orange shirt is Russell "Monkey Boy" Straw.  It was discovered that a window on the 2nd floor was open, and we had no ladder tall enough to reach it.  (The moving company wisely take their ladders with them when they leave the site.) Before anyone new what was going on, Russell Straw appeared in the second story window and waved just before closing it.  He then demonstrated his athletic prowess and climbed down the structure, while Jim Vollmar watched on in complete amazement.  Guess we know who to call next time we don't have a ladder handy!

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