Wednesday, August 7, 2013

End of an Era... a fond farewell.

Back in early June, there was a farewell party at the old building: North Bennet Street School is moving... and will no longer be located on North Bennet Street. This, after 131 years. You can read about the proposal here, and read the Under One Roof blog, if you're interested. 

I've read annual reports from over 100 years ago. The old building was as much community center as it was a school. Locals could come by to take a shower. There was a chapter of the SPCA located there. And, before it moved on, Gustaf Larsson's Sloyd Teacher Training School was housed on the 4th floor. There's a lot of history in that building... which was actually 3 buildings that had been combined. There's a lot of good Karma in the space.

All things change, and I get it, and I'm incredibly excited to see the new building. But it still makes me a little sad to know that the old building as I knew it will be gone. The 4th floor will be gutted and rebuilt to serve the needs of the K-8 students that will be moving in.

This is some of the space I remember:

This is an award-winning reproduction Seymour dressing table, built by Alastair Boell in his last semester, sitting in front of his bench space. His bench was the first, to the right, when you walked into the upper bench room, so this piece got a lot of attention. (It's worth opening the pic in a separate tab or window to be able to zoom in... the detail, even in the 3Mp photo, is still amazing.)

My bench area, 3rd semester. On the right is a cherry blanket chest that I was building. My tool chest is in the background, and the stepstool was a project from the summer of 2006.

Holiday Party 2006

The last photo is from the holiday party, 2006. Every year, the holiday party takes over the floor. People bring in food, drinks, etc, and all of the shop-made toys come out... tops, (including a whopper 10" diameter top that sounded like a rolling thunderstorm when it wandered across the floor) whistles, and other games... and yes, music is played. And yes, that's Lance Patterson playing a hand-saw, with a violin bow.


When I walked around this June, things were already being taken apart and moved, and I'm told that all kinds of old treasures were seeing the light of day in the process.  As of June, this is what it looked like up there.

View of the bulletin board when you step out of the elevator on the 4th floor. It's the first thing you see when the doors open, and it really took me back when I saw it again.

Doorway to the CFM teachers's office.

The library looks a little bigger than it was when I was there. As far as I know, the chippendale book cabinet was built by Lance Patterson. (senior instructor)
Lance Patterson talking to Michael Wheeler, in what was the old demonstration area.

Doorway between the bench room and the machine room.
Above the doorway to the machine room you'll see a collection of student's place holders. These were small plaques or scraps that we wrote our names on, to hold our place in the machine room. The system was pretty simple. If someone's using a machine, and you want to use it next, you give them your place holder, and when they're done, they leave it on the tool. Same applies if you're at the tool and need to step away for a minute, but you're not done. With 40 students and only 3 table saws, this was a pretty necessary system to implement.

Typically, graduating students will nail their place holders onto the wall, or up onto the rafters, just to leave their mark on the place.

I asked about what was going to happen to all of these, I was assured that they'd be taken down, and moved to the new place, for safe keeping.

View of the rafters, and the various souvenirs left behind by previous students.

This particular souvenir is a flag left behind by Alastair Boell before he left in 2005. His last semester coincided with my first, so I got to know him a little bit. He was a great guy.

More souvenirs. The Easy button was left there by my shopmate, Don Price.

Bang, Crash, Boom... James is using this machine. My placeholder, still up on the rafter by my bench area.

My bench area, and my window that faced the Old North Church.

My area, the neighboring area, and the stairs that led out to the roof deck.

3rd floor, the stairs leading up and to the right led to the finishing room. The doorway at the bottom of the stairs leads into a room that was used for storage of various things, for sanding, and as a photo studio for taking pictures of student work.

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