Hundreds of thousands of pounds of timber beams were hoisted into place on Thursday to form the core framework of the Commons, the new activity and community building being built behind the stage at The Village Green. Executive Director of The Village Green, Ann Self, said they will finish the initial exterior of the framework this week and then place the cupola (small dome placed on roof) by crane.
The video below are crew members of Moresun Timber Frames erecting the main core frame for the new Commons building at The Village Green.
Massive beams of hand-cut Douglas fir were fitted together by expert timber framers Moresun Timber Frames out of Mountain Rest, S.C. The beams were then disassembled and marked using symbols, transported to Cashiers, reassembled, and put into place to form the main timber frame, said Project Manager Mark Fortenberry.
“What we’re seeing today is these guys are erecting the outside walls of the main timber frame,” he said. “I would describe it as adult Lincoln Logs.”
Iron pins in the ground align in holes on the bottom of each beam, and then a framer guides the crane operator with hand signals to raise and tweak the beam to insert the oak pins together.
“These guys are very skilled at the traditional methods,” said Fortenberry. “All joinery is hand cut in their shop, dried, fitted, assembled, everything, then they take it apart and bring it up here. There’s over 350 pieces of timber here.”
After the cupola has been installed, Fortenberry said Moresun’s crew will head out, but there is still much to be done.
“Once these guys get the frame up, other carpenters are going to come in and build off of that,” he said.
Throughout the weeks the timber framers are on site, the community is honoring an old tradition of “Feeding the Framers” where members of the community pitch in to help provide meals to the timber crew.
“Feeding the Framers’ is an opportunity not only to offer Cashiers’ hospitality and express gratitude for the work of their hands, but also to come together as a community and help bring this facility to life,” said Self. “Tradition says that feeding the framers affords prosperity and good fortune to the community. But, we also think it would be a nice gesture and reflection of the goodness of Cashiers!”
So far, those feeding the framers are Slabtown Pizza, Whiteside Brewing Company, Cream and Flutter, Cashiers Baptist Church, Blue Ridge School Interact Club, and Church of the Good Shepherd.
The timber frame is expected to be complete by mid-April and Self said a celebration is the works to mark the event. The project has been delayed a couple of weeks due to weather, but Self said that’s how it goes in the mountains.
“The weather has been a bummer for everybody, but you do the best you can when you can,” said Self.
Fortenberry added that since Jan. 1, they have only had seven days of dry weather in a row.
Stay tuned to Plateau Daily News as updates are available.