Monday, June 9, 2014

adventures in biddeford - but you can't turn back time

the original mill clock tower in biddeford is nearly out of time.  [see what i did there?]  so many other puns, but the owner has until september 2nd to move the "eyesore" of the property.  according to our reluctant high school tour guides, the innards and the weather vane were stripped and sold in the 80s.  all that remains a is weathered facade of a somewhat structurally unsound room. 

long before this point, the high schoolers had exhausted their repertoire of.. 3 handwritten notecards and had sighed, glared, and flopped back in their folding chairs to text or tweet or sext or whatever the fuck kids do these days. 

the biddeford city hall [in its second coming] was built in 1860, burned in 1895, and was rebuilt on the same foundation to what exists today.  my picture [unintentionally] was taken from pretty much the exact spot as the 1909 pic as well as this postcard
as explained by the guide, the brick and granite comprise 5 stories, with the white portion with the clock face being the 6th and the cupola above, 7th.  the brick walls are 24" thick, and amazingly, the 6th story is built with no supporting braces connecting to the brick.  wood cross beams and rafters are self supporting, and hold the 6th and 7th stories in essence separate from the rest of the building.  being an engineer, i of course, nerded out over this for a bit and took some pictures.  and pondered [to myself] why a place that experiences catastrophic fires would continue to build wood structures. 
but i digress.  take in the amazing architecture and structure that is the innards of the ..non working clocktower.  the clock itself was electrified and ran until 2010 when it abruptly stopped.  several thousand dollars worth of repairs are needed but bring the clock back to life, but as with most things.. time is money.  oh wait.  that's not the problem.

the gear mechanism that allows all 4 clock faces to read the same time
the actual workings of the clock, smelted or welded or iron worked or whatever its called in nearby beantown

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