Posts Tagged ‘Independence Hall’

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Shoring up the Ben Franklin Museum, Philadelphia, PA

The new Benjamin Franklin museum just off of 4th & Market in an area known as “Franklin Court” is under way.  This will be Philadelphia’s newest exhibit about Ben Franklin and when completed, the new Benjamin Franklin Museum will be underground!

The exterior or top of the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
Ben Franklin Museum – new concrete slabs and support steel.

Yes, an underground museum.  And that’s all well and good but it posed some real challenges when it came time to do the expansion.  You just can’t take a hundred and fifty year old building and slap a bunch of exhibits inside.  You need a complete redesign to support the architect’s vision.  And that exactly what they got.

If ever you wanted to see what shoring actually does – this is the time.  You can clearly see the work going on above the shoring and below the shoring.  It always amazes me at the sheer weight that these post shores can hold when you take in consideration the cement and steel necessary to make a job like this happen.

Beneath the concrete slabs you can see the shoring necessary to hold up the new steel and cement.

This was an extensive demolition of an old structure to open up the building.  Walls had to be removed, ceilings had to be shored up so new steel and concrete could be poured to support the new additions.

The view from below the concrete pour going on above in the first shots.
Another view from the basement.

15” thick Concrete slabs were poured and giant concrete beams were brought in to help support the weight.  That was probably the biggest challenge on the job.  The steel was so long it took several cranes and expert crews to get them in through the alley and into place.  Superior Scaffold shoring guru, Bob Robinson, had to calculate all of the weight loads so the proper equipment could be utilized and the work done safely and up to code.

The underneath shot.
What’s going on above the shoring.

Some of the concrete beams in the new design were 36” wide X 42” deep and spanned 42 feet  column-to-column!

When it’s all done, the exhibits will be divided up into different rooms that reflect various aspects of his personality and his life.  The museum will feature interactive displays exploring his life as a private citizen and statesman through individual, room-like installations. The library is intended to be the culminating experience.  Other 21st century additions to the underground museum include interactive elements like touch screen kiosks, a computerized version of Franklin’s glass armonica a musical instrument employing glass and water to create sound, and two-minute animated vignettes designed to help visitors understand critical turning points in Franklin’s life.

A clear view of the shoring necessary to support the work going on above.

More information:

CBS local news coverage on the job.

Click here for news on the construction job.


Independence Hall Update – 10.4.11

Well, things are surely coming along at the Independence Hall Tower.  Crews have really done a terrific job getting the spire repainted, the ball and weather vane re-guilded, the roof flashing in place.  It’s looks great.  They have even taken most of the decorative urns down to have them repainted as well.   I saw it with my own eyes.  It’s been a good 6 months since I was last up on the scaffold.  I do have photos and will post them up tomorrow.   We got to see inside the bell housing as well.  They have put new metal flashing down in there as well and completely repainted the surrounding bell housing.  This new refurb should last another 100 years.  It’s pretty cool to see how the tower is taking shape as they move down further towards the ground and take down the decorative scrim.  We did notice that they are getting the gold colors in the clock faces as well.  Just a quick entry here but I will post more details when I get the photos up.


Getting Press for our company Part 4 – Success story #2 – The Cover of Access Lift & Handlers Magazine.

It’s crazy just how the world works sometime.  We had just gotten our stuff to Vince at Scaffold Industry Magazine and the article hadn’t even come out yet when someone in our office remembered being contacted by Lindsey Anderson over at  Access Lift & Handlers Magazine (part of KHL group).  Again, we turned her name over the Erik who told her about the work we were doing over at Independence Hall.  She was excited when she saw the images.  She even thought that we would get the cover shot of the magazine.  Yeah!

So, we went back to the press release and tweaked it a bit so it wasn’t the exact same as the one we sent to scaffold magazine.  By the way, I did inform her that we had already had an article coming out in the other periodical – it’s just good business to be honest about where you stuff is being seen.  She assured us that there were no worries.  We went back and forth a few times as Lindsey prepared the article and layout… She was very cool and professional throughout the entire process.  And a few weeks later… Bam.

The cover of Access Lift & Handlers Magazine.

The article inside was great and we had accomplished our goal.

See the article inside – here.

A giant shout out to both Lindsey over and Access Lift & Handlers Magazine, and Vince at Scaffold Industry Magazine for the work they did on the Independence Hall project.

We thought that this worked so well that we are now making this part of our over-all marketing strategy.


How we got Press for our Company – Part 3 (Success)

Everyone will tell you, that in business you need a bit of luck once in a while – and this was no different.  We had everything together and ready to go but who would we get it to?

And as bit of luck would have it, while going through our contacts, we remembered an email we had gotten from Vince Brennan, the editor at Scaffold Industry Magazine a few months prior, asking what we had going on.  Bam.  We gave Erik Highland, our photographer and marketing guy,  Vince’s name and number and said – “have it him.”,  which he obviously did, because a week later we were answering a list of questions he had prepared for us about our roll in the Independence Hall renovation.  Erik sent him some of the photographs (with and without the scrim) and Vince thought they might even be good enough to garner the cover shot!  How cool would that be?    We were all very excited about this opportunity.

For several weeks we went back and forth with the photographs and text that Vince had written for the article.  It was a terrific story and the photographs really helped accentuate the work we had done.

We crossed our fingers that our scaffold and scrim project would make it onto the cover of one of the biggest magazines in our industry.  But as fate would have it – we lost out to a man wearing a safety harness.  The issue was all about safety so they went with a logical choice.  But Vince did an awesome job with the article!  Superior Scaffold from Philadelphia got a 4 page spread on the inside of the magazine.

 

It worked.  Our small idea about documenting the job we did and then finding an angle for the story paid off.

And that wasn’t the end.  There was more to come!

See part 4.


Getting Press for our Company Part 2 (writing a press release and searching contacts)

Okay – we’ve made our plan.  We’ve picked the project that would be great for all of America to talk about (the renovation of Independence Hall) and we’ve gotten some fantastic photos of both phases of the job site.

Now what?

How do we get press for the scaffold work we’ve done?   We started by compiling a list of contacts that we have had over the years.  Some are still valid and some are not – but we look at them as possible leads to run a story on us.  While we are culling through our possible contacts we write a press release detailing our role in the renovation process.  Since we were not the general contractor (GC) but the scaffold company, we have a slightly different role in the process (mainly designing, renting, transporting and erecting the scaffolding).

So we come up with our angle on the story.  Every press release needs an angle.  Since the major papers in the area have all done a generic story on the renovation of the beloved landmark we need something new, something fresh that will still tie into the overall renovation project.

We find it in the decorative scrim that was added to our scaffolding.  That’s a cool story because, not only does the scrim add a great look to building while renovations are taking place but the structural engineering changes that had to be made to accommodate it were pretty significant.  So we detailed the equipment, the procedures and even include a few quotes from the engineers and the CEO of the company – and boom.  We are ready to get it out to the public.

For the correct format of writing a press release and/or what to include you can google or hit any of the search engines “How to write a good press release” and you’ll get plenty of guidance.

We knew that we wanted to be placed in some of the industry magazines so that’s where we focused.

A home run.  See part 3.


Independence Hall Renovations Continue

Superior Scaffold is wrapping up it’s role in the renovation of Independence Hall.

Here are some shots of the guys installing the scrim.

These amazing photos were taken by erik at highfilms.com.

Get a more in-depth look at the project including pictures and details at  Superior Scaffold.com.

The top section is coming down now revealing the reguilded lightening ball and weathervane as well as the freshly painted spire.  Click here to see what they looked like prior to renovation.

The second section will be coming down soon revealing the newly renovated glass clock faces and bell housing.

This project is managed by the National Parks Service.  For details and times to see the renovations go here:

The scrim was provided by Friends of Independence.

This has been a wonderful project to be involved with. Tell us what you think.