Saturday, December 1, 2012

Adaptive reuse

Front of steam crane
Steam crane is prepared
for shipment.
One of the great challenges facing history museums around the world is the size of their collections.  Many institutions have amassed collections that cannot be cared for with available resources.  Perhaps more troubling,even the most optimistic (but realistic) strategic plans do not project these institutions ever fully acquiring the resources needed to secure or conserve the collection, let alone conduct appropriate rehabilitation or restoration.  So what is a responsible institution to do?

The Northwest Railway Museum has offered objects that are outside its scope of collection or redundant to other museums.  Over the last 20 years, more than a dozen large objects have be sold or transferred to other institutions.  And when other museums are not interested, objects may be offered to a broader audience.
Steam crane loaded on truck
Imhoff's 65 ton conventional crane
makes quick work of lifting the
circa 1903 steam crane.
Recently a vintage steam crane was traded (more on that in a later post) to a business in Ballard, a neighborhood in the City of Seattle.  There, the crane will become the focal point in a new French bistro-themed restaurant.  Historically, the circa 1903 steam crane was used at a lumber mill in Everett, and had some other (unverifiable) contributions to history too.  Unfortunately, it was one crane too many for the Northwest Railway Museum.

Adaptive reuse is the process of retasking a building or object.  It allows something that may have outlived its usefulness and repurposes it for something else.  So an old school could become condominium housing.  An old caboose could become a cottage or office.  And a coal-fired steam crane could become the focal point of a new restaurant development where it supports an outdoor canopy.
Jon poses with steam crane.
Jon Burget poses with
his new acquisition.

Snoqualmie’s own Imhoff Crane was hired to lift the vintage crane – all 45,000 pounds of it – and Seattle’s Ballard Transfer was hired to transport it.  The move took most of a day and no doubt turned some heads on Interstate 90.
Congratulations to Jon Burget of Pavingstone Supply Inc on the acquisition of this interesting historical object for his new restaurant.  When he opens next summer, Spike will broadcast the date, time and place so you can see adaptive reuse in action! 


David said...

Spike, Now that's something that you don't see every day! I certainly would have stared if I saw that being trucked on down the Interstate... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Pono Ranch said...

Thanks for the mention! Our vintage crane made it safely to it's new Ballard home.