Saturday, February 12, 2011


Demolition of the two story Rotunda building. Tearing down the long, curving entrance ramp. Pulling the 28,000 pound crane out through the windowless east side of the building.  Raising and lowering the existing steel beams to make the south wall level (for the first time in 50 years). Yes, we have witnessed some amazing events during the Quarry Visitor Center project. However, we just had a notable moment, notable not because of its spectacle, but rather because it simply marks the beginning of a significant new phase in the project.

A level dirt floor and ramp footer.  In the distance a construction worker compacts soil.

Recently the crews have started to put up the steel for the indoor ramp. The old QVC had a set of stairs connecting the upper and lower galleries inside the building. This was part of the handicap access problem of that building --- an outside ramp too steep and only stairs inside. The new QVC, with its properly sloped ramps, will allow everyone to pass through the building and get to any part of the exhibits.

With the dirt inside the skeleton of the QVC leveled, the ramp has started to go up --- footers were poured, steel beams anchored to the footers, and the framework welded to the steel beams of the building itself. This might be easily passed over as just another step in the project, but it is notable because for the first time we are building something inside the QVC. This is a moment that seemed would never arrive. We can finally see the finish line on the horizon --- although the snow and ground fog makes it a bit hard to pick out.

Photos: NPS.

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