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University of Maryland Department of Astronomy

Research Center Early Winter Update

30 Jan 2017, 17:26 UTC
Research Center Early Winter Update

We have daylight!  We have broken through!
As you can see from the images here, Wayne Morris has cut through the two basements which will allow us easier access between the two for moving collections back and forth and working with them.  Remember that they are two foundations created at different times and sandwiched together.  It’s like Fort Knox – I am NOT kidding.  Mr. Morris has never seen anything like this and he is a SEASONED mason who has been working on Nantucket for his entire career.  It has taken countless hours.  He is using both a special wet saw and a jackhammer of sorts and both require an extreme amount of strength in order to get through the walls.

You can also see what the wall is made of.  There is a large aggregate in the grout (cement), particularly in the upper portion.  The lower portion of the wall is unbelievably a softer grout than higher up.  We are not sure why that was done or how it happened unless it was a symptom of mixing – or a different person who created the mix!
But in any case, we are getting there – it’s just been a very slow slog through almost 100-year-old grout!  Next up, the engineer is finishing up a support system based on what was revealed when the 2 ½ feet was cut through.

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