Monday, February 2, 2009

My Man at Work

My husband, Ray is self employed, but works almost exclusively for one man, who happens to be the new owner of the old Nate's Clothing building in downtown Minneapolis. The building is approximately 95 years old, and is currently undergoing a total renovation project, which will eventually transform the upper floors into upscale office space, with a couple of restaurants on the main floor too. Below is what the outside of this building is supposed to look like someday:

Besides this building, the guy owns many residential rental units in the metro area as well, which are usually enough to keep Ray occupied...with remodeling them, or just doing every day maintenance work for the tenants. Anyway, he's not doing the major renovation here, but they do call him whenever they need guardrails built around new holes they've opened up in the floors. They've removed a couple of old elevators, and stairways etc., so without guard rails, these holes could be quite dangerous to fall into. Ray's told me all about what he was doing there, but I could never have imagined what this place looked like without seeing it in person, (nor can I imagine it ever looking like upscale office space or restaurants in the future)...but I guess I don't have much of an imagination for such things. Here's what it looks like on the inside now:

This is a view from the main floor, looking down into the basement. The dirt is from a hole they had dug to make a new elevator. You can see Ray and some of his previous guardrail handiwork.

We had to take the freight elevator down to the basement to get something first, so I took a picture looking up from there too.

Before we got to Minneapolis, I asked Ray if there happened to be a bathroom available at this workplace. I drink a lot of coffee, and figured I'd need to use one before he was finished working. His answer was, "Sort of". "What is that supposed to mean?", was my next question. I guess this is what he meant:

I had never seen anything quite like it before. This contraption was on wheels, and when standing up in it, you're looking over the top. I thought it was strange that there was no ceiling on it, but my hubby pointed out that it would not fit through doorways that way, so apparently it is made just for indoor construction sites like this one. I guess that makes sense. The thing that didn't make sense to me though, was the urinal trough on the back of it. If you are a guy, I guess it is perfectly acceptable to stand there and pee in front of all of your co-workers, out in the middle of everything?? Ewww...guys are gross! And they think we women are weird because we always go to the restroom together. At least we usually have separate stalls...with doors...and ceilings.

Okay, here's the elevator shaft on the 4th floor, where we started. He had to build the guardrails and then put them up around this hole, and then repeat the process on the 3rd, 2nd and 1st floors.Here's Ray assembling his railing. I helped a little bit. I could hold one end of it and help him stand it up, or hand the pieces to him when he needed them.

Here's what they looked like when he was finished.

By the time we got back down to the main floor, (after a few hours), I was a little bored I guess. I was looking across this open expanse and thinking that I would NOT want to be walking on that narrow strip of concrete on the other side!

I was also having a hard time picturing a nice restaurant here on the main floor.

Here's Ray putting the finishing touches on the main floor railing. That one was partially finished already, he just had a little modifying to do there.

I told him to "Smile for the camera", while he was cleaning up after a day of hard work. All in all, it wasn't a bad day. After all, I DID completely avoid having to watch the Super Bowl, and I got to spend the whole day with my hard-working husband too. Not that I was a lot of help to him, but at least I kept him company. Ray would have rather enjoyed watching the game I suppose, but the railings had to be put up yesterday, before anyone else could do any work in the building today.


Qtpies7 said...

Umm, yeah, that is quite the bathroom. I am sure it was not meant for women, lol.

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