A Future for the BO Tower

Anything pertaining to railfanning in Michigan.

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby NS3322 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:55 am

PatAzo wrote:Go Fund Me raised $30. Doesn't look good.


:cry:

I really liked his idea, although I am kinda puzzled as to why he didn't promote it over the summer. I am sure the local media would have picked up this story.
Are there any other places BO could be moved to? The southwest side of the state really lacks railroad museums.
User avatar
NS3322
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:08 pm
Location: CP-LEVITT/CP-147

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby Ypsi » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:48 am

You would need a big hitter to step up to save BO. The Henry Ford was mentioned as a possibility in the past but it seems that may not be on the radar anymore. It’s a great idea in principal to try to save a stricter as a non profit or individual/ small group, but in practice this is easily a high 6 figure or even 7 figure job to move, buy land, and place the structure.
"Ann Arbor 2373 Calling... Milkshake. Over"

All Aboard Amtrak: Northbound, Southbound, and My Hometown
User avatar
Ypsi
The Bestest Railroadfan... fan
 
Posts: 5245
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:13 pm

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby Saturnalia » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:58 pm

Towers tend to either fall or remain on site. It would be nice to see somebody like Bell's pick it up and maintain it in place, but I doubt that will happen.

It is ultimately an aging structure of questionable importance where it stands. Not quite the same as some of the larger brick structures (think Deshler or Joliet) which can remain for other purposes.
Thornapple River Rail Series - YouTube
Dah Yooper Snowfall Total: 317"
User avatar
Saturnalia
Authority on Cat
 
Posts: 13678
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:54 pm
Location: Michigan's Copper Country

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby NYCMan » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:40 pm

The vandals will steal it one piece at a time. Then, some derelict will move in. And, then, one cold winter night, the derelict's Sterno can or candle will be the cause of a fire which burns the structure down.
NYCMan
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:00 pm

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby SchoolcraftSignal » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:44 pm

Answers to a few questions:

First of all I'm going to be honest and say no, the future for the tower is not looking very good right now.

But, there a few few things that come into play here that many don't know about. First off, and this is the big one, I am a Junior in high school. I don't have all the connections or knowledge that someone who's been around a little longer might have. Up until a little while ago I couldn't even drive myself anywhere.

Second, trying to find someone to move the tower has been difficult. Dietz movers was highly recommended to me by a local guy who has completed over 100 historic structure moves with this same guy. Unfortunately the mover didn't really take the project seriously and was very busy over the summer. Despite my constant reminders he failed to fill out the Amtrak PTE form and never talked with my MDOT contact for help. I understand, he's busy and a small move that takes a lot of extra planning a preparation on his part isn't really worthwhile for him. I know Vicksburg Historical Society had previously contacted him as well and at that time he quoted them $200,000. He didn't want to do the move then either and that was the reason for his ridiculous quote, he just wanted to scare Vicksburg away from it.

So, currently I don't have a mover but I do have a contractor for asbestos testing and removal (which MDOT is being really picky about, they believe there is asbestos vermiculite in the attic and have not allowed anyone to even look up there). I also have the property secured, Jamie Clark is the current owner of the land where the proposed location is and he is totally on board with the project.

I wanted to promote the project more over the summer but I didn't have the time and I didn't want to promote it too much without knowing I had all contractors on board and the project was set.

Right now the tower is scheduled to demolition in December, I can't be sure whether this is set in stone because that date has been moved out several times already. MDOT will have to go through the same asbestos testing and abatement as I will have to go through though so I am considering doing contacting them and seeing if they will pay for that part and I will pay for the actual move.

So, all in all I'm doing my best to help this project succeed but it's not going to be easy. I did take a little bit of a break near the end of the summer because I was a little overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done. I'm getting back into it a little more now so we'll see what happens, right now the main issue is funding so if you're willing to donate to the project that would be great. Every little bit helps, if 1000 people donate $3 apiece we'd have $3000 dollars which is enough to cover all of the asbestos/lead work.

Also, if any of you have thoughts or ideas, feel free to share them! Like I said before, I'm just 16 and am by no means an expert in promoting an idea or moving a building. Let me know if you have an idea because if you don't share it I cant use it, I do things wrong and am totally open to constructive criticism if it will make what I'm doing work better.

Like I said before, I'm trying my best to make this work I just don't have all the resources.
SchoolcraftSignal
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:56 am

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby kd_1014 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:29 pm

SchoolcraftSignal wrote:Answers to a few questions:

First of all I'm going to be honest and say no, the future for the tower is not looking very good right now.

But, there a few few things that come into play here that many don't know about. First off, and this is the big one, I am a Junior in high school. I don't have all the connections or knowledge that someone who's been around a little longer might have. Up until a little while ago I couldn't even drive myself anywhere.

Second, trying to find someone to move the tower has been difficult. Dietz movers was highly recommended to me by a local guy who has completed over 100 historic structure moves with this same guy. Unfortunately the mover didn't really take the project seriously and was very busy over the summer. Despite my constant reminders he failed to fill out the Amtrak PTE form and never talked with my MDOT contact for help. I understand, he's busy and a small move that takes a lot of extra planning a preparation on his part isn't really worthwhile for him. I know Vicksburg Historical Society had previously contacted him as well and at that time he quoted them $200,000. He didn't want to do the move then either and that was the reason for his ridiculous quote, he just wanted to scare Vicksburg away from it.

So, currently I don't have a mover but I do have a contractor for asbestos testing and removal (which MDOT is being really picky about, they believe there is asbestos vermiculite in the attic and have not allowed anyone to even look up there). I also have the property secured, Jamie Clark is the current owner of the land where the proposed location is and he is totally on board with the project.

I wanted to promote the project more over the summer but I didn't have the time and I didn't want to promote it too much without knowing I had all contractors on board and the project was set.

Right now the tower is scheduled to demolition in December, I can't be sure whether this is set in stone because that date has been moved out several times already. MDOT will have to go through the same asbestos testing and abatement as I will have to go through though so I am considering doing contacting them and seeing if they will pay for that part and I will pay for the actual move.

So, all in all I'm doing my best to help this project succeed but it's not going to be easy. I did take a little bit of a break near the end of the summer because I was a little overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done. I'm getting back into it a little more now so we'll see what happens, right now the main issue is funding so if you're willing to donate to the project that would be great. Every little bit helps, if 1000 people donate $3 apiece we'd have $3000 dollars which is enough to cover all of the asbestos/lead work.

Also, if any of you have thoughts or ideas, feel free to share them! Like I said before, I'm just 16 and am by no means an expert in promoting an idea or moving a building. Let me know if you have an idea because if you don't share it I cant use it, I do things wrong and am totally open to constructive criticism if it will make what I'm doing work better.

Like I said before, I'm trying my best to make this work I just don't have all the resources.


Thanks for the update. Someone may have posted something about it, but did you contact Grand Elk at all about using a flatcar? Can't imagine that would be any cheaper than any other mover.
YouTube: Milepost One Media // Instagram: @kaden.douma
kd_1014
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:29 pm
Location: Creston, Grand Rapids

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby SchoolcraftSignal » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:44 pm

kd_1014 wrote:Thanks for the update. Someone may have posted something about it, but did you contact Grand Elk at all about using a flatcar? Can't imagine that would be any cheaper than any other mover.


Yes, I was able to contact Grand Elk about a flatcar. Things worked out quite nicely as Grand Elk wouldn't normally have a flatcar to use but they recently signed a deal with TTX to store about 200 flatcars and they would be able to use them if they stored them, at least this is what was communicated to me. We were planning to set up a conference call with me, the mover, and him to discuss how we would fasten the tower to the cars as well as clearances along the track but like I said before I have been having issues with the mover so that never happened. I wish I knew how much their quote was but I never asked. It does avoid any issues navigating Downtown Kzoo or utilities that need to be moved though.
SchoolcraftSignal
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:56 am

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby NS3322 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:44 pm

Thanks for the update! I was worried this project was dead, but it clearly is not.

You have done a great job so far!:
1) You have secured a new place for the tower.
2) Grand Elk is possibly willing to move the tower. (Bonus: Flatcar is available).
3) You found a contractor to remove the asbestos from the building.

All that remains is:
1) A contractor to place the tower on the flatcar or move BO to Schoolcraft. (If possible, I would personally seek a different mover).
2) Necessary permits and other miscellaneous expenses.
3) $$$$$$

I think you do not realize how much you have completed already. If the landowner in Schoolcraft is on board, the transportation and asbestos removal is all that is left.

I would approach the city of Schoolcraft with your proposal, as they may kick in some $$$ to get this going. This could potentially be a nice tourist attraction for the village (B&G Discount is probably the only reason out-of-town travelers stop in Schoolcraft).

I would reach out to the Wabash Valley Railroad Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana, as they moved a similarly sized tower 9.5 miles to their museum.
https://www.wvrrm.org/

My only concern is how an interlocking tower can be placed on a flatcar? Would it be disassembled into several pieces?

I am in Kalamazoo a lot these days, so please feel free to reach out (PM me). I am willing to help in anyway I can.
It would be sad if we lose BO Tower.
User avatar
NS3322
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:08 pm
Location: CP-LEVITT/CP-147

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby PatAzo » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:35 pm

Is it sad enough for everyone to kick in a few bucks to save it? https://www.gofundme.com/f/bo-railroad-tower-cafe-and-train-watching-station

It's doable. It just need money. http://www.grassellitower.com/moving-grasselli.htm
PatAzo
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby 12Bridge » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:58 pm

200k to move it does not sound all that outrageous..
User avatar
12Bridge
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:57 pm
Location: Lake Wazapamani

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby PatAzo » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:28 pm

Grassellie Tower was moved for $55,000 ten years ago. Adjust for inflation it's $74,000+/- today. A bit foundation work and at least it would be saved from the proverbial wrecking ball. Entirely doable.
PatAzo
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby Atkinson_Railroad » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:00 am

SchoolcraftSignal wrote, "... I am a Junior in high school..."

That's a very impressive revelation to this topic.

Thanks for posting a recent photo of BO tower at the RYPN site NS3322.

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=43722

I had forgotten the lower portion of the building was masonry.

Does the cement block attribute of the building suggest the lower half would likely be broke apart, and the upper wood portion is what would be transported via a flat car?

John
User avatar
Atkinson_Railroad
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:04 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby PatAzo » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:34 am

It's a siding product not block. Look up and left from the NS no trespassing signs. You can see a piece missing.
PatAzo
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby DaveO » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:15 am

PatAzo wrote:It's a siding product not block. Look up and left from the NS no trespassing signs. You can see a piece missing.

And a good chance that it's asbestos cement siding.
DaveO
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby SchoolcraftSignal » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:12 pm

I thought I posted here before, but I guess when I hit the post button it didn't do anything.

First off, like others have said, the building is not block but rather wood frame sitting on a cement slab. The siding is asbestos to the best of my knowledge and will likely be romoved before the relocation. Here's a couple pictures I have where you can see the original wood siding peeking through (Also, if anyone has a picture or knows where I could find one of the tower before it had the asbestos siding I would love to know):

Here is the North side of the building:
IMG_1347.JPG


East side:
IMG_1349.JPG


And gable of the roof:
IMG_1341.JPG



The plan is to transport it in three or four separate pieces. The lower floor, interlocking machine, and then roof and upper floor (these could be moved apart or together, I'll have to talk with the mover more).

I hope this answers at least a few questions. I have found a new mover and have talked with him briefly, I'm going to give him a call Monday and we'll start to work out more of the details.
SchoolcraftSignal
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:56 am

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:17 am

Has anyone looked into the possibility of some kind of historic preservation grant?
Other than that I don't see where adequate funding would come from.
User avatar
Ben Higdon
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:02 pm

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby SchoolcraftSignal » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:52 am

Ben Higdon wrote:Has anyone looked into the possibility of some kind of historic preservation grant?
Other than that I don't see where adequate funding would come from.


Yes, I have looked into historical preservation grants but the issue that you run into is time. The tower is scheduled for demolition this December and I lost some valuable time because of the mover not cooperating. Haley tower was funded through a loan that was paid off with grants at a later date and I think that may be the best option for BO considering time factors. If you have any recommendations for places that offer historical grants I would be glad to know!
SchoolcraftSignal
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:56 am

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby DaveO » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:33 am

I think many potential donors/grantors will give only to a registered 501 organization.
DaveO
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby SchoolcraftSignal » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:35 pm

DaveO wrote:I think many potential donors/grantors will give only to a registered 501 organization.


Yes, and that has been taken into consideration, while BO is not a registered non-profit both the Schoolcraft Historical Society is and has agreed to take donations on behalf of the BO Tower.

On another note, does anyone know of a contractor in the Kalamazoo area that would have the capability to disassemble and reinforce the BO Tower during the move?
SchoolcraftSignal
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:56 am

Re: A Future for the BO Tower

Unread postby NS3322 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:52 pm

SchoolcraftSignal wrote:
DaveO wrote:I think many potential donors/grantors will give only to a registered 501 organization.


Yes, and that has been taken into consideration, while BO is not a registered non-profit both the Schoolcraft Historical Society is and has agreed to take donations on behalf of the BO Tower.

On another note, does anyone know of a contractor in the Kalamazoo area that would have the capability to disassemble and reinforce the BO Tower during the move?


I would try giving Balkema Construction or Miller-Davis a call.
User avatar
NS3322
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:08 pm
Location: CP-LEVITT/CP-147

Previous

Return to Michigan Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 10 guests

x