By admin, April 28, 2006
Plan devised to safely remove deteriorating chimney stacks at historic facility.
In 2006, I developed a plan to remove two deteriorating 100-foot high chimney stacks from a historic facility adjacent to a not-for-profit museum where I volunteered. The riveted-steel stacks were considerably deteriorated−particularly near the top−and seemed in real danger of collapse. Historic buildings below were finally being repaired, and a stack collapse would greatly damage (or even destroy) them.
The owner of the property did not want to spend a lot of money to remove the stacks, but it was a difficult project in tight confines. The stacks were built upon boiler settings within the building interior, not near outside walls.
I measured the chimney stacks and calculated weights of various sections. I measured the surrounding building and analyzed access and crane loadings from various points. I determined how I could use a friend’s modest National truck crane and other rented equipment to safely and delicately access the stack tops, cutting off and removing modest sections and minimizing collapse danger with work underway.
Needless to say, I wasn’t climbing that ladder!
I outlined my plan to management of the historic complex but it was rejected.
As of late 2014 the stacks are surprisingly still standing, so perhaps I was premature in my concern. Regardless, I think my plan was the least expensive safe way to remove them and I am confident it would have worked well. The historic stacks will come down someday−ready or not!