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Christo Is Not in Town

The artist Christo (and his partner, Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009) visited the College back in my day, but he is not responsible for what appears to be the wrapping of Baker Tower — completed this week:

Baker Renovation Comp.jpg

The Tower has not been renovated since its construction in 1928. According to an FO&M press release, work on the $4 million project should be ongoing into October:

- Replacement of the copper roofing, flashing and ornamental metal;

- Expanded, energy-efficient LED lighting to highlight the architecture of the clock and tower;

- Fabrication of the clock’s hands and numbers back to their original 1928 design;

- Installation of a digital control system to support the Baker Tower clock and bells;

- Construction of an exact replica of the Tower’s weathervane, using original drawings found in Rauner Special Collections Library;

- Replacement of flooring within the Tower Room, electrical upgrades to support future lighting needs, and installation of USB ports in all electrical outlets.

Three years ago when the College did an assessment of the structure, it chose an intelligent, low-tech way to get the job done. Rather than paying $75,000 to rent a large, unsightly crane, Robert Fulmer, a building consultant at Maine-based Fulmer Associates, clambered all over the Tower using climbing equipment. Bravo.

Addendum: We’ve noted in the past the use of illustrative scaffolding covers in major renovations in France.

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