I was in there today. While purists will complain, the building has been
renovated for use as an event center, with a strong emphasis on keeping as
much of the original integrity of the building, while marrying in a lot of
bare steel structural support to the interior. It looks to be squared and trued
and really looks good. The operators saved a lot of neat historical material
found on site, including a lot of pre-1900 bottles, DL&G and C&S records
books, a stretcher all painted up for the Union Pacific Medical Dept. and an
original-construction DSP&P 1871 Patent No.2 insulator, mounted on an
original pin, complete with square nail. I tried to talk the woman giving me
the walking tour out of it, but she felt it best to stay with the building. I had
The place has been cleaned up nicely. The early graffiti preserved. The
plank floors are rough as a cob, but pressure washed and hit with a little
oxalic acid, look like nearly new lumber. It is impressive work, this coming
from a guy who has done historic preservation work now for nearly 40 years.
I was there to get some detail shots of the roof overhang braces.
I will be modeling these in full scale on my building, adjusting the
upward angled part to level, to carry the wiring for the lights that
will hang from them.
The Hemingray-made No.2 CD 132 "bullet" found during the
These, and the No.3 "bullet", were original construction material
during the South Park's push to Leadville and Gunnison.
Were I to ever stumble into a "trust fund" level of dough, ...
creating a place where I no longer needed to work, I would
LOVE to drive the old beast all over the west as if it is just
a regular car. But with a comfortable cruising speed of about
35, it would take me WEEKS to get to Colorado, and our
highway departments have a way of destroying old two-laners
when they build interstates, forcing me onto roads where people
often do 60-70-80 mph .... Can you imagine doing Glen Canyon
in a car only able to go 35 ?
But the backroads of the west .... it is truly wonderful to drive
them and see the looks on the faces who see it going down the
road like it is 1921 or 39.
If I had my druthers, I'd own a more "substantial" truck of the period.
The advantage of the Ford is they made 15 million of them and parts
availability and technical knowledge on how to maintain/operate them
is just a phone call away. Just having tires custom molded and cast for
your 1908 Lambert would cost 4x what a pristinely restored truck like
mine would cost for the whole truck. With oddball makes of the period,
a person can often be "alone in the wilderness" to restore and operate
them. The Lambert used a paper friction wheel as its drive mechanism !
Just go ahead and find one of those today !
Anyway, the T's are cheap and easy and plentiful, and an iconic piece
of period Americana. I made the compromise and took the easy route.
I want to drive and use it as is was meant to be used without worry of
breaking an ultra-rare piece of history. Parts are cheap and easy to get
(as old cars go). Just an easy early vehicle for an average Joe without a
trust fund to own and drive.
As for the strength issue of the roof brackets, without getting into the
engineering, with the 5' overhang I will have, at 8' centers, overframed
with 2x6, load strength will not be a concern.