More of the 'why'...

See farther down in the blog for other entries about "why" we are renovating this old 1914 building.

With all the talk of 'green building' now days, it's easy to be overwhelmed by all the ratings and big companies trying to look like they are doing something to help the environment. Of course, even small improvements in buildings cost money and the more efficient the more money. Thankfully we have a lot of base items in place now that will allow us to be far more efficient, use less electricity, gas, and water... but also build in more and more sustainability as funds are raised.

Now have: wall insulation, floor insulation, cracks/leaks sealed with foam
Need: attic insulation, storm windows, curtains

Now have: 92% efficient furnaces (had old baseboard heaters), code is only 80%. also air ventilation/outside air to keep upstairs cooler in the summer (no AC yet)

Now have: only one gas hot water heater, 2 were in use before
Need: efficient dishwasher

Now have: new low flow toilets (4)
Need: auto/sensor flush valves, auto towel dispensers

Now have: dimmer switches on all lights in main halls
Need: dimmer packs or dimmable flourescent bulbs ($20+ each bulb x 40)

Removed knob & tube wiring from building, replaced with new wiring to code
Removed lead paint, most walls are new
Removed asbestos tiles throughout
ADA accessible bathrooms
Security alarm system w/ motion detectors


You too can be a hero.

Sorry, I've been watching that "Heroes" tv show too much. But in a way, if you come help us remodel the Abbey, you are being a hero for all the young people who will learn about the arts (music, painting, literary...) in the building for years to come!

So... drop us a line (email to: arts at fremontabbey.org) and 'be like Jon'!


Some more "why"...

In continuing the series on 'why' we are remodeling...

Though once completed, most people will never notice these major improvements to the building strength, the city of Seattle DPD felt it was important to vastly increase the stability of the Abbey in case of an earthquake. You can see here the contractors are adding large posts, lots of tie-downs, bolts, etc. and then plywood will go over all the walls to create a 'lock' essentially that will hold the building together really well. It's already giving the building a great feeling of strength!

Since the walls are open we are also able to add insulation, update the wiring to current codes, and add in posts that the balcony/stairs will eventually attach to in Phase 2 or 3.


Re:Store our floor

I was very happy today today to be able to work with the Re:store folks (a great non-profit based in Ballard and Bellingham). I've known this store for about 10 years or more and am finally able to contribute materials to them. Pat and their crew came in this morning, punched on KEXP on their work radio, and got to work whipping out the fir flooring that was going to be either cut out or covered over. They will be giving us some trade so we can pickup a few doors, trim, etc.


Why remodel a 1914 church building?

I've heard from a couple folks that it would be nice to hear more about why we are going to all this trouble to fix up the Abbey. Overall, the goal is to simply make the building more useful for the community whether that be for arts classes, yoga workshops, dinners, meetings, music lessons, etc. So I'm going to start writing about one or two pieces of the building here each week...

This will not only increase the useable square footage from 40x40 to 55x40, it will allow many more uses of the space including renting the space for benefit dinners. Nothing worse than your food sliding off your plate because of a sloped floor! It also allows the room to be used in any configuration so the audience could face any direction (and the portable staging we are currently fundraising for will make it even more versatile). The new floor (which will probably be a nice woodplank instead of the old asbestos tiles) also provides more soundproofing between levels and better access to the restrooms that will be ADA compliant.

This one probably goes without saying, but the bathrooms were not quite workable for ADA compliance. So we are expanding them a little and reconfiguring so wheelchairs can turn around, not to mention get through the doors. Surprisingly, this isn't cheap when you get into moving drains and finding a plumber in Seattle right now is really tough!


Demolition progressing very well

Wow... it's amazing what a crew can do in one week! Check out the updated slideshow...


Clearin' out!

Phew... what a week. Made great progress on clearing out the Abbey and stuffing things in closets. Busted open some walls/ceilings also... contractors checking things out. Hoping to finish up move-out on Sunday and be ready for demolition/abatement on Monday morning. very exciting times... this building has so much potential...


Old Blog & Entries

Old entries from 2007 including Seattle PI article & response, KEXP news, much more...
can be found @ ourOLD BLOG