|Keystone monument with toppled spire|
You can see the broken piece in this photo I took a couple weeks prior to this visit. At right is what the spire looked like a few years ago. I was invited to take pictures of the disassembly, but it was obvious they really needed another pair of hands. As I walked the short distance into Mount Moriah (B’nai Israel is essentially on the same piece of land), I saw that a scaffold had already been built around the monument. I would estimate the base of the broken spire to have been about twenty feet off the ground, the spire itself adding another six feet.
|Sawing the marble spire loose from the steel rebar|
That’s where the generator and electric Sawzall® came into play. Three guys set all this up and the lead guy up on the scaffold spent twenty minutes sawing through the steel. When it finally broke loose, the spire looked quite precarious hanging up there with ropes and nylon straps. How to get it down? The old green coffin-lowering straps had no winching mechanism so another fellow provided some pulleys and rope. Hopefully things could be rigged up so we could ease the spire down to the ground.
|Marble miter from atop monument|
|Spire cut loose from steel rebar|
|Spire being lowered thru decking|
I was surprised to find out later that these guys were not a professional rigging crew, but just regular people who happened to have way more common sense and practical know-how than you could possibly imagine! And they had the right tools. Why were they here? Maybe the same reason I was there. Just to have the honor of doing something good.