The Taylor & Boggis (T&B) foundry on Cleveland’s east side was one of our most interesting salvages to date. T&B was Cleveland’s longest operating foundry; Opening in the 1860s and making its last pour in early 2012. The T&B foundry salvage occurred over a period of month’s involving both our in-house salvage team and a crew of Amish workers that assisted us.
The original Columbus Street Bridge, completed in 1836, was the first permanent bridge over the Cuyahoga River. It provided a direct route to Cleveland Center from the Medina & Wooster turnpike (Pearl Road). The bridge promoted commercial development of Cleveland at the expense of Ohio City. Travelers could now bypass Ohio City entirely by crossing into Cleveland over the new structure instead of using the old floating bridge owned jointly by Ohio City and Cleveland. Seeing their trade diverted to Cleveland, Ohio City residents boycotted the new bridge, and in retaliation, Cleveland City Council had their half of the floating bridge removed in June 1836, instigating the so-called “Bridge War”. Rallying to the cry of “Two Bridges or None,” west siders resorted to various forms of retaliation, including an ineffectual powder explosion. On October 31st, 1836, a mob of Ohio City residents armed with guns, crowbars, axes, and other weapons set off to finish the destruction, only to be met by Cleveland mayor, John Wiley, and a group of armed Cleveland militiamen. Three men were seriously wounded in the ensuing riot before the county sheriff arrived to end the violence and make several arrests. A court injunction prevented any further interference with the bridge, and the courts resolved the issue by ruling that there should be more than one bridge crossing. The bridge stayed and an upgraded replacement bridge was constructed in 1870, but the Columbus St. Bridge ended any hopes of Ohio City rivaling Cleveland.
The old Columbus Street bridge was replaced by an iron bridge in 1870. After that, a double swing bridge - then the world's first - took that bridge's place. Finally, in 1940, WPA workers installed a steel lift bridge on Columbus Road.
The fourth Columbus Road bridge was closed 2013 and its span torn out and scrapped, after inspections determined it was in serious condition. Some floor beams and gusset plates were rated critical and lifting components were rated poor. Salvaged wood decking from the Columbus Road Bridge was acquired by Old School Architectural Salvage and later Rustbelt Reclamation in 2014. The reclaimed lumber has been used in several projects by Rustbelt Reclamation in the past year (project images coming soon).
The original Columbus Street Bridge is long gone, but speak to any Clevelander and they will tell you - While we no longer resort to mob brawling the rivalry between the east and west sides of Cleveland still remains.
Sinker cypress wood consists of cypress logs that have been submerged in rivers or swamps since the late 1800s. The logs were cut by axes or hand saws from 150- to 1500-year-old virgin forests during the “industrial cypress harvest” from 1880 to 1930. The fallen logs were then taken to the nearby rivers by oxen or horses to a neighboring riverside sawmill. During their trip down river, it was common for some of the logs to become waterlogged, or get stuck in a log jam, where they would sink to the bottom of the river. They have been preserved underwater since that time.
Today, the sunken logs are retrieved by divers, raised to the surface and shipped to a sawmill where they are cut into different lumber sizes and allowed to air dry. The required drying time is usually one year per one inch of thickness of the lumber. If a kiln is used to dry the lumber, then less time is needed for air-drying. Typical drying periods range from 1 to 2 years after the log is cut into lumber. This allows the wood to dry slowly and become more stable and resistant to warping and exterior elements.
This Morton Salt Mine is just 30 miles east of Cleveland in Fairport Harbor, OH. Established in 1959, the 2000 foot deep salt mine was acclaimed as the country’s deepest and most modern salt mine at that time. Ohio salt mines are the third largest producer of the precious mineral in the entire country - Taking advantage of salt deposits left by a shallow, warm, salty sea that dried up about 400 million years ago.
The mine was also home to the Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven (IMB) neutrino detector from 1981 to 1991. IMB consisted of a roughly cubical tank about 80’ x 70’ x 70’, filled with 2.5 million gallons of ultrapure water which was surrounded by 2,048 photomultiplier tubes. In 1987, it gained fame in the astrophysics community for detecting 8 neutrinos emitted by Supernova 1987a, an extremely rare event.
The wood species that was salvaged from the site is known as Azobe and is native to West Africa. Its natural habitat is subtropical to tropical, moist lowland forests. Azobe is prized for its strength, durability and longevity - making it the perfect wood to shore up the roof and walls of the mine shaft.