Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Curtain No More

Marsh House last week

Marsh House this morning


Anonymous said...

We've gone from romantic dark shadowy areas where young couples share a kiss (that they remember for a lifetime) to dark shadowy areas that are dangerous because of whom they may serve to hide.


Anonymous said...

The view of this building from below in downtown is one of the most iconic in Amherst.

Please, Amherst College, don't mess with this, too.

Larry Kelley said...

Any change to the building would have to go before the Dickinson Local Historic District Commission, and I've not seen that on the agenda anytime soon.

Walter Graff said...

What a beautiful building.

Larry Kelley said...

Who knew?

Tom McBride said...

It was better with the trees. Amherst College is private property but being part of town mean they should (I think) confer with the town before making aesthetic changes.

Walter Graff said...

While I can't quite tell by the photo, it's clear these trees were far too close for comfort. I often tell homeowners that while trees look great around a home they can cause serious problems and even make unrelated issues worse.

One of the simpler issues is that close-proximity trees can be used by insects and rodents to gain access to a building. Take an older timber building and this could be a disaster.

Also in the less dangerous but no less a problem category in this area is that leaves and branches clog gutters and that could mean water getting into the structure and ice damns in the winter. And of course branches get heavy with ice and can damage a building or worse, kill people when they break.

And in the summer an invisible envelop of moisture that surrounds a tree can cause premature rotting of buildings, roofs and paint.

The real issues can come from places we can't see such as roots. I've seen roots take out entire water, sewer and other piping systems. Crack a sewer pipe underground and you just fed the roots some super fertilizer and you have more growth and potentially more issues such as roots
penetrating a foundation.

The last thing you want with an old building like that is foundation uplift.
And those hungry roots can cause buildings to settle and sink once they start drying out the ground where they feed.

What no one knows is if perhaps those trees already caused foundation issues or something else. And finally trees this close are also a fires best friend as they prevent proper ventilation of soffits and can introduce fire to a building.

Many folks don't realize that if you see moss growing on your shingles or roof discoloration and a tree is near, then your tree is a problem. Doesn't mean you have to take the tree down. In some cases simply trimming back helps or spraying of chemicals specific for moss. And of course putting a copper strips (or any metal strips) along the roof ridge prevents any moss growth.

They don't need anyone permission to cut down those beasts nor should they. I'm sure they had good reason to spnmd $10k.

Anonymous said...

Walter -- I was told that the Hurricane of 1938 "took down every tree on the Amherst College Campus" -- and if you look, all the trees at AC are about 70 years old -- prime targets for the next "Long Island Express" -- and in the past few years, we've had two that came close, the one that did but flooded upstate NH instead, and the one last fall that went into NYC instead.

All this homeland security stuff and "active shooter" paranoia notwithstanding, the valley is way overdue for a hurricane and it won't be pretty when one arrives. THAT is the real risk...

Anonymous said...

Oh Wally, shut the hell up. Coming from a guy who doesn't even own a house it doesn't carry a lot of weight. Did you aquire all this knowledge at TV production school? Boy are you an A-hole or what?