19 West Main Gets Blasted
Things are happening at 19 West Main, former home of John Waite’s Merlyn’s and now part of the contiguous trifecta of buildings restored and re-purposed by Jim Sheehan. Big trucks are often parked outside with mysterious looking contraptions and hoses snaking across the sidewalk and disappearing under the door, and a sign signifies it’s an active work area – eye and ear protection required. If you peer in the windows, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of activity in the murky interior.
Good news – you don’t have to don eye and ear protection to get the story of what’s going on in there! The entire interior of the space, once known as McPhail’s Garage and Lift, has been sandblasted, cleaned and sealed. The original wood beams and natural brick walls are now exposed. This week, a cutter sawed 500 linear feet through four inches of cement floor which will be broken up with a jackhammer and hauled away. Cutting channels in the concrete allows for installation of utilities and pipes for the businesses slated to take up residence later this spring. The original cement surface will become the floor after it’s repaired, etched, stained and sealed.
As soon as the snow melts and dries off, the building’s roof will be opened up for eight new insulated divided-glass skylights. The new peak-style skylights will match the four 1920’s original cracked and leaky ones, which will be taken down and possibly used somewhere in the building. As usual with Sheehan’s projects, everything that can be salvaged will be reused in a functional or decorative way.