Masonry Levitation

When the Allen Block was built in 1827 they probably weren’t anticipating that someone would want to open a shop in the basement someday.  Low ceilings and a dirt floor made the space unusable, but the building’s prime location in the center of downtown Greenfield made it desirable.  The solution was to lower the floor, but do it without undermining the 3 story masonry building above.  Working closely with the engineer, we devised a plan to support the building while we dug out 2½’ of cellar floor and installed a new buttress system to make the renovated foundation stronger than the original.  Carefully monitored benchmarks showed a single quarter inch crack developed during the entire process.