09 July 2009


At last, Tender Mercies has been able to move resident's back into Harkavy Hall, after that building's rehabilitation and remodeling. The whole project took over a year, a month or two late and several thousand pesos over budget. In June a festive "official opening" took place, with city officials, TMI board members, residents, staff and mounted police officers all mingling and networking like crazy. Several days later, an ill-informed workman connected the telephone/cable system to the 120V house current and fried God knows how many meters of fiber optic in a few milliseconds. Much rewiring (refibering?) had to be done, thus delaying the return of residents who had been relocated to other buildings. During this past year of construction, Tender Mercies capacity dropped by about 30. The year-plus of construction included some strange moments. A Bobcat backed into one of the Port-o-Lets and scared the you-know-what out of a construction worker who was using it at the time. (Ironically convenient that he was sitting where he was sitting.) It was discovered that the third floor was not part of the original building, and that undersized joists had been used to support it. While installing a new joist, the mounting hardware failed and the joist and a lot of plaster fell. Workers escaped miraculously with only minor injuries. While digging up the old courtyard to prepare for brickwork and concrete paving, a bottle of beer was found, brewed here in Cincinnati during the 1870's. Nobody had the nerve to open it. At last report, the worker who found it is thinking about selling it on eBay. And speaking of selling, Visualingual inquired about purchasing the nineteenth century tile uncovered after two rather disgusting layers of linoleum were removed. Unfortunately the state historical people mandated that the tile was an historical artifact, and must not be removed from the premises. Since the tile was in no shape to be trod upon, a compromise was reached: The historical czar allowed the new flooring to simply be laid over the antique tile, thus complying with the letter, if not the spirit, of the law. Maybe a better solution to the tile situation will be found 150 years from now, when next Harkavy is remodeled. For now, residents are impressed by a new elevator, new kitchen, and a new courtyard that is better shielded from the street by steel estate fencing. We are told clematis will soon be planted. The staff has a better view of what's going on on 12th Street, security cameras eyeball the neighborhood, and everything smells new. Imagine a three story building with "new car smell."


CityKin said...

Good job. It turned out pretty nice.

VisuaLingual said...

I just want to clarify that I was only interested in the tile when I suspected that it might be discarded. I'm glad it's intact, although covering it up is ludicrous!

Carney said...

I think the tile would have been better off in Visualingual's care. In a way, it really has been discarded. If not for the historical building rules, I suspect the contractor would have been happy to give/sell/barter you as much as you could carry.

All original text (C) 2007, 2008 David J. Carney. All rights reserved.

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