A big trench has been dug around the periphery of the foundation of the buildings so they can seal it up. All that digging has uncovered a ton of broken clay bottles in the back of 206. I know in the late 1800’s 206 was a Tavern owned by John S. Riehl so finding bottles makes sense. Mia’s brother Christopher and his wife Jackie are really into archeological mysteries so I knew they would be good helpers in figuring these bottles out.
The basement of 204 (where the YIKES kitchen and conference room will be) has a coal cellar which lives under the sidewalk in the front of the building. Pre-construction, I thought it was scary, but now that I feel confident it has been throughly explored and no skeletons have been found, I think it’s pretty cool to have this unique coal storage area that is probably well over 100 years old.
With the sidewalk busted up from the streetscaping, there is natural light temporarily streaming into the cellar through an old, broken pipe and a vent. When I peeked in and saw it, it motivated me to climb in (for the very first time) and take some pictures.
Check them out, they’re kinda cool. I really like the light inside the broken pipe next to the brand new water pipes. Click to see larger versions.
Luckily Greensaw loves the old walls as much as we do, and they proposed the idea of “windows to history.” They will frame out a rectangle in the new walls exposing the old wall which they will preserve with a sealant. There will be 4 of these history windows throughout the buildings. I love that we’ll have these reminders of how the buildings looked when we saw them for the first time. They were a mess, but I still found a lot of the decay to be beautiful.
At closing, the Sellers’ agent, Chris Somers, mentioned making a blog post about Jack Riehl, the Great Great Grandson of an owner of a tavern located at the future YIKES office. I had to hunt the blog post down, because I love finding out about the history of the buildings.