Press enter after choosing selection

Wrecking Firm Takes Long Time To Raze Mansion

Wrecking Firm Takes Long Time To Raze Mansion image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

Old Allmendinger Home Found To Have Unusual Construction Features It's taking a wrecking company almost twice the allotted time to raze the 81-year-old G. F. Allmendinger mansion at 731 Tappan Ave. behind the University's School of Business Administration, The delay, declares Marshall Keeler, superintendent for the job, results from the fact that it is one of the best-built houses he has ever had to dismantle. "This house would still stand after everything else falls apart in Ann Arbor," he But the Capital City Wrecking Co. of Lansing is tearing it down and disposing of salvaged materials so that the University can increase its parking facilities. Mrs. Pauline Allmendinger, who with her husband, a flour mill operator before his death in 1926, bought the house in 1912 from the builder, engineering Prof. Joseph B. Davis, also tells of the workmanship and materials that went into the dwelling of 20 plus rooms. Features Neted Here are some of the remarkable construction features uncovered in the rating of the building: Outer walls have a brick exterior, a second thickness of brick between the studding, and lath-and-plaster or wood panel interior finish Floors are of exceptional construction: In the original part (an addition was put on the earlier structure some years after 1870) floors have four inches of concrete between the finished flooring and subflooring: the floors of the addition have 2-by-3's nailed together to form a solid sub-sub floor, with asbestos paper and subflooring between them and the finished floor Doors, fireplace Mantels and much of the other woodwork were made without nails and screws by the use of wood doweling. Doors Incidentally, hung perfectly until time of razing Timbers Used Corner uprights th the frame are 24-foot 6 by 8 and 8 by 8 timbers, almost knotless. Seven elaborate fireplaces-no two alike were scattered throughout the house, one being in the basement. One of the mantels was made of wood, Mrs. Allmendinger remembers taken from the old fence that once ringed the University campus. Roof boards were of two-Inch tongue-in-groove type, resting on 4 by 6-inch rafters. Large quantities of paneling and other woodwork were incorporated into the house at construction time. Mrs. Allmendinger counted 14 kinds of wood used in the house. Made In Boston Light fixtures torn out of the ceilings were fancy affairs, mostly in brass and specially made in Bos. ton, Mrs. Allmendinger said. She also reported that the builders boasted that the house was "hand-made." Top-quality workmanship. Keeler commented, is ap: parent throughout the building. Mrs. Allmendinger was forced to vacate the house in July, 1946 She now lives at 220 S. Thayer Mystery Door Just what did this sealed off archway once lead to in the old G. F. Allmendinger mansion? A photographer of The News shot 3 picture of this passage, sealed off with brick some time in the past, when he was exploring the labyrinth of rooms in the basement of the house at 781 Tappan Ave, now being rated. When show the photograph of the entry, which hides behind a cleverly concealed sliding door, (not shown), Mrs. Allmendinger exclaimed It Was the first time she had know of its existence MANSION BUILT IN 1870 TO BEING RAZED The old G. F. Allmendinger home at 131 Tappan Ave (top) is being torn down to provide more parking space for University personnel behind the School of Business Administration. It was constructed Nowell, wrecking crew superintendent Martin Keeler (bottom) says, that it is taking much longer than anticipated to take it. Among its many outstanding features are these doors (bottom), more than three inches thick, that are held together with wood dowels in place of mails and screws. They are perfectly after 81 years.