Myself and my crew (including my son Dorian) spent almost two years building this park, on site, every day. We did all the stonework that isn’t at grade level and isn’t attached to a building.
The walls we built with limestone quarry blocks are functional as well as unique. And the walls were far less than poured and molded concrete would have been.
It was a two year ordeal, through all weathers. The lifting straps would freeze to the ground every night, so we would prop the loops open at the end of each day’s shift and lift them with the crane when we got there each morning.
Each block was set on three bags of ice, which allowed us to get the lifting straps free and to settle each block perfectly into place as the ice melted. We were a crew of three; Kevin melted the bags and pried the pry bar, Dorian operated the jack hammer, and I directed the show.
The blocks were fit together with this method with no joints between them at all. This allowed for great friction, and with the addition of steel strapping we were able to make these walls totally load bearing without being ugly.
A channel was dug to creek depth (almost), and filled with a concrete footer of major import. My stones rested on this footer. The footer was leveled by engineers to within 1/4″ over two hundred feet.
During the time we spent building these walls, we developed a great team, and skills that are hard to quantify. Blazing through limestone to make a park… ya better measure up. All year long. We adjusted each block to fit against the other, one at a time, test fitting with a crane. We did well to fot and place one block in a day. There are over two hundred blocks in these walls.
My son, Dorian, on the right, is schooled in subtle action by the crane operator, Buck, and ex Marine. Dorian measured up every step of the way.
This is a view from the parking garage, taken during construction. You can see how we have shaped and strapped the stones together.
This photo was taken by me, in the driver’s seat of the lift, as Dorian nudged the stone, carefully shaped by himself after many test fittings and shapings, into place. It also reveals the tighteness of our joints.
None of the Wall was an accidental fit. Everything had been drawn and planned, by myself and the engineers hired for the occassion, to be made so. Making it so required great exertion. Here Dorian is preparing for the next stone to fit tightly.
Making this park and wall was a heroic experience. Nothing like I could ever have hope for. All the details are fragments of stories. I am grategful to have been part of this civic project.
The cracks between the huge stones became important places. The stone of the walls are so thick we decided to play them up, and built tunnels of light to illuminate some of the mos significant cracks. This is an example of what we built. It is now buried under the upper story.
Building the eventually underground crack/imagination places was a blast. The tube in the photo is mirror polished stainless steel rolled into a tube to try to channel sunlight down into the imagination crack. The idea was that viewers from the outside would see light coming through the ground.
Each of these stones was hand split to fit and made to fit on site.
This is a test shot of the park just before it opened.
All that effort, and look at tye tiny plants, just then getting started…
The fellow in the pond is.. fishing? One of my hat feathers, two years building this park. I would love to do another.
These blocks weigh between twelve and forty thousand pounds each, and myself and my crew got them to fit like this. Good job crew!