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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gables, Planters, and the Underground Garage

Last week I asked for help identifying these holes in the west gable.  A blog reader suggested they were from the supports which held the ornament at the apex.  Other blog readers jumped in to help me understand.
I tried to zoom in with this crop from the 1902 photograph by Dr. Fred Taylor.  The ornament can barely be seen because this photo wasn't taken with a good zoom lens, but the shadows of the supports are visible.
Gables were an important feature in the architectural style of Charles Eastlake.  Many of Provo's residents were immigrants from England and very familiar with Victorian Gothic.
Charles Eastlake, being British, created a specific style of Gothic architecture.  Some of the home builders in the Maeser neighborhood, which surrounds the tabernacle block, appreciated the frou frou style popular at the time.
I could have filled this post with pictures of gables from the Maeser neighborhood.  I am hopeful that in just using a few photos, you'll get an idea of this style of architecture because the tabernacle was built with this in mind.  The lower level of the new temple will be Eastlake in its design.  The upper level will be Victorian Gothic.
This photo of the east side gives us a helpful view of the ornament.  Notice the wooden supports. They were bolted into the brick design, which is called a corbel, and when the 2010 fire burned the ornament and its supports, the holes were left open.
This artist's rendering shows that the ornaments will be rebuilt at each gable.  There is a word for this particular ornament.  It is called a gablet.  Before today, I thought a gablet was the interval between Sunday School and Relief Society.
Brian Olson creates 3-D models of LDS temples.  He put together this diagram so we could see how the gablet will fit on the gables.  The supports are resting on dentils which protrude from the corbels and are making a shadow on the left.  Thanks to all who helped me understand this.
I took a few pictures of the buildings along Center Street directly across the street from the tabernacle.
I thought you'd be interested in seeing how well the new temple will blend in with our downtown.
If I have a favorite gable, it's this one.
The tabernacle was still under construction when these stores were built.
I need to prepare you for some pictures coming up, so I'm going to tell a joke while you look at these two towers, both at the corner of University and Center.  Did you hear about the man who asked his younger brother to tend his cat while he was out of town?  He called to check on things and asked about the cat, and his brother told him the cat had died.
The traveling brother was upset at this news and said he should have been told this gently.  Perhaps he could have been pre-warned by learning that the cat had been playing on the roof.
And then maybe he could have been told that the cat fell.  This would break the news a little more gently.  The younger brother apologized.  The traveling brother then said, "How's Grandma?"  The younger brother said, "Well, she's been up on the roof lately."
You are looking at the gable of the Utah County Courthouse, beautiful, but clearly 1920s in style, not Eastlake.
After taking pictures of the gables across the street, I turned around and saw the slate on the north east tower progressing.
I took far too many pictures of the brick.  I love watching this restoration.
I love watching Moroni, too, although I think I have been able to control the number of pictures I take of him.
However, as I got to the south side, well, I guess I need to tell you that Grandma's been on the roof. . .
There is some serious brick work going on here.
I panicked a little.
I might have even stopped breathing.
I was not the only one displeased.
I learned what is going on, though, and we can all breathe easy.  Everything is under control.  Only one layer of brick is being removed.  This particular brick, at the level of the tabernacle called the water course, was not fired long enough to be quality exterior brick.  
I went back to 2012 to find pictures of the intact water course.  You can see that the brick was covered with stucco along the entire lower portion of the building.
You are not looking at stone along this area.  You are seeing grooves the pioneers cut into the stucco which they had frescoed over the brick.
This entire water course will be covered with local sandstone, or quartzite.  It will be beautiful.  However, the stucco was only about an inch deep, and the new stone is four inches thick.
Removing one layer of brick will provide enough room for the new stone to be placed.  The opening above will be the ground level entrance to the temple. With the brick redone, and the sandstone surrounding the base, it will be stunning.  Let's all imagine that, ok?
As long as we are talking about hard things, I'll mention something I haven't pointed out to you before.  After the fire, the top layers of brick did not weather well and were removed.  This has been visible all along, but I chose not to say anything.
Now that I've pointed it out, it's as big as life.  This area on the south side hasn't been touched by the brick repairmen.
But this area on the north has been completely repaired, and eventually all the brick will look this nice.
I hope you're not too upset about the brick.  Maybe it will help if I show you a particularly handsome picture from the northeast tower.
Or this closeup from the west side.
Have you been watching the construction cam today?  The footings for the landscaping planters are being placed on top of the waterproofing layer.  This particular black layer is actually designed to direct the flow of the water.  A different waterproofing layer which will stop water from the aquifer is below it.
Gravity will have to hold these footings in place, because holes in the water mat would be counterproductive.  Styrofoam and dirt still need to go here, so ground level is about four feet away.  If you didn't click the link to the 3-D model above, you can do it now and get a better idea of the grounds.
Those four feet apply to the two stairwells on this south side.  I was baffled by the forms going up around the stairwells until I realized that four feet of styrofoam and dirt will be placed here.  Beautiful iron railings will surround these stairwells, which will make a graceful appearance from the underground garage below.
Before I take you to the underground garage, I need to point out something.  You have noticed the stencil marks on the towers.  The heat tubes for ice and snow melt are directly below the pink paint.  
This stencil, which you have probably noticed from the cam, marks where the tubing is so nails for the slate shingles don't puncture it.
We have been watching the roof of the underground garage move south.
I took a stroll outside of my normal route this morning.  The post office is directly to my right.  I am on First West facing north.  On the right side of this picture you can see supports around the mechanical shop on the west lot.
At the bottom of the ramp is a sign directing me to choose the right.
If I was stunned to see the south face of the tabernacle today, I was thrilled to turn the corner and see the underground garage.  In the distance are the supports underneath the forms which were poured last week.
This wall is directly above the entrance to the garage.  I was thinking it was kind of tall until, once again, I remembered that four feet of styrofoam and dirt will be here.
I looked for a long time and took quite a few pictures, wishing I had a tripod since it was dark, but these pictures turned out just fine.
One of these days we'll be driving along here, smiling.  Looking for a parking place.  Dodging brides.
To exit, I found this handy stairwell.
It led me to the surface, onto Nu Skin's grounds.
Until today, the garage was out of sight, out of mind.
I've decided I like what I'm seeing.

5 comments:

Brian said...

Fantastic Update! And thank you for finding out what a Gablet is! I never would have known and would have kept calling them caps or birdhouses. (Nice joke, too!)

Julie said...

Thanks for your help. I liked my joke, too...

Corinne Markham said...

lol @ "Dodging brides" :)

JayBingham said...

Thanks for the jokes, all of them.
I don't find it a wonder that you would think a gablet was the break between Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School, one might be led to think that if the word is pronounced with a short vowel sound as in gab, apple, can or hat. However, dictionary.com indicates that the word is pronounced with a long vowel sound, as in gable, aid and day. By the way it's definition says it is a small gable, which fits perfectly the use of the let suffix.

Julie said...

Yes, yes, I have since been corrected on my pronunciation of gablet, but the joke doesn't work as well.