The earth in front of The Ames Library

A view of the brick-laying equipment in front of the library taken from the northwest corner in 2001.

NW-side-view-2022

The same view in June 2022.

It’s been 21 years since the steps to the Ames Library first rose up from the ground level. It sure isn’t pretty right now but safety for our community is the goal! Crews are working to resolve the buckling issues that developed on the plaza and at the head of the stairs.

It took a truly monumental effort to lay all the brick and stone for this building! Danny Sylvester, the mason who was the foreman for J.J. Braker & Sons (Morton, IL) in the spring of 2001 donated a collection of 25 panoramic prints he took during the project.

A view of the north facade, before the build-up of steps from ground level.

Two kinds of scaffolding are visible in the photo below: the yellow is “Morgan scaffolding” and was used for working inside the cupula. Sylvester said these were operated with hydraulics and purchased specifically for this project. Tube scaffolding is visible on the outer circumference. Sylvester described this as his “most intriguing project” since it is unusual to make round building features with stone and brick.

Scaffolding being prepared for laying brick of the cupula.

Follow this link for more birds-eye views like this one in the days when Sheean Library still stood to our north and there were no windmills on the horizon!

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