Friday, October 05, 2012

Inside the Charitone, looking out

 It was interesting to tag along yesterday as those involved in the Hotel Charitone project did a walk-through inspection and inventory of contents before construction moves from exterior to the roof. The last time I was in the building, then tomb-like, was late March (that post is here) when all the upper-floor windows were boarded and water from spring rains had cascaded from fourth floor to basement at the east end, adding a swamp-like effect to the general gloom.

Work on the roof, both replacement and repair, is expected to begin within the next few days. Attention for several weeks has been directed to the exterior brickwork.

Although windows on the south and west street facades remain for the most part boarded, the exception above on the second floor allowed architect Kirk Blunck, leaning out the window, Alyse Hunter and Raymond Meyer to get an idea of what the view will be from an apartment room that eventually will be created here.

This photo also shows in part how the hotel is constructed --- structural walls constructed of hollow tile interspersed with brick around a steel frame with face brick applied to the exterior.

Most windows on the north and east service facades of the Charitone have been removed to facilitate work on the openings, and the light that floods in --- supplemented by newly installed construction lighting --- allows much better views of the space that before too long will be filled with apartments. This is either the second or third floor, looking east --- but these floors look alike and I can't remember which is which.

Although I was just along for the ride Thursday, this was serious business for staffers down from Des Moines for the day, who were for the most part focused on observing, poking, prodding, taking notes and making assorted telephone arrangements.

Here's another window view, looking out from the stair landing between third and fourth floors and up into the east-facing window of what will become a fourth-floor bedroom.

Here's the view out that future bedroom window opening, looking over rooftops to the hilltops east of Chariton just west of Lakes Ellis and Morris. The view is better in person, and would be a great one to wake up to --- if you were the occupant of this apartment.

The views will be fairly spectacular, too, from apartment windows in the east wall of the fourth floor, where difficulties caused by a failed roof were clearly evident Thursday after light rain earlier in the day.

These fourth-floor apartments probably will have the best views, since the Charitone is the tallest building on the square, but I'm looking forward to the day when openings on the south and west facade are reopened and new (historically appropriate) windows are installed. Views of the courthouse from any floor should be fairly amazing.

A new Webcam that will allow anyone anywhere to track progress on our hotel is in place, but I can't make the link to it work. So that will have to wait for another day.

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