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Aerial Views

Last week we sent our drone up and overhead to capture some aerial views of the new residence hall project site. As you can see, the stairwell is almost finished and the tower crane is still standing strong. The construction crew has made great progress and we look forward to posting more drone images throughout the spring.



Let It Snow!

On Saturday, January 7th, winter storm Helena visited Boston. The construction crew braved the elements and did not let the blizzard slow them down. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the new residence hall project is still on track to open in August 2018.


The crew waterproofed the site and then rebar was strategically placed within the section that had not yet been filled with concrete. Rebar is reinforcement steel used as a tension device to strengthen and hold the concrete in place.


Massive snow tarps were lowered to the site by the Tower Crane.


Crew members rolled out the tarps as carefully and quickly as possible to make sure nothing was exposed.


The snow tarps protected the area overnight.


The following morning, crew members shoveled off the snow and the crane operator removed each tarp one by one.



Tower Crane

A 309-foot-tall tower crane, which is taller than the length of a football field, has been erected within the site of the new residence hall. This crane will be a permanent fixture for the duration of the construction and a key component to the project since it will aid in lifting heavy loads (up to 43,000 pounds!) to great heights.


The tower crane took a crew of workers over 20 hours to assemble.




Concrete Pour #1

The first of four overnight concrete pours took place within the construction site on Thursday, December 1, 2016. Over the course of 16 hours, 150 concrete mixer trucks entered and exited Emmanuel’s campus. These trucks delivered 1,480 yards of concrete. It is essential that the placement of the concrete be a continuous operation and, as shown in the time-lapse video below, elephant trucks pumped the concrete at a consistent rate in order to keep the distribution even. Several construction crew members were stationed within the slab frame so they could smooth out the concrete as it was being poured.

The purpose of the first pour was to create a solid, structural slab that will support the northeast section of the building and provide the foundation for the tower crane.

We’re Diggin’ It


Excavation is well underway and the construction crew has been diggin’ the fall weather. Once the phase is complete, over 40 million pounds of soil will have been removed from the site.


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A handful of artifacts were unearthed during the demolition phase of Julie Hall. It is pretty incredible that these relics stood the test of time. We did some digging around of our own and discovered the following:


This hand-blown, cobalt blue glass bottle stored Bromo-Seltzer, a popular pharmaceutical drug manufactured by Emerson Drug Company in Baltimore, Maryland. Isaac Edward Emerson patented the formula for Bromo-Seltzer soon after he graduated from the University of North Carolina as a chemist in 1879. This concoction was sold in the form of a powder and was promoted as a remedy for headaches, upset stomach and jumpy nerves. The exact formula varied somewhat, with the main ingredient being sodium bromide. Bromides are a class of tranquilizers that were withdrawn from the American market in 1975 due to their toxicity.



Two marmalade jars, dating back to 1862, were also found on the site. According to the story, in 1700, Dundee Scotland grocer James Keiller bought bushels full of Seville oranges from a large cargo ship seeking refuge during a winter storm. Unfortunately, James discovered the Seville oranges were too bitter for most people’s tastes.

His wife, Janet, however, was able to create a simple recipe for preserves utilizing sugar and thick chucks of Seville orange rind. It was an instant hit; eventually ensuring a regular stop for Spanish ships full of Seville oranges. In 1797, another generation of Keillers built a marmalade factory, and a British staple was born. James Keiller & Sons Dundee Marmalade is still available in stores and online today.


The bottle pictured here, embossed with PURE OLIVE OIL / S. S. P., was blown in a cup base mold with air venting. Though unusually shaped, bottles like this were relatively common at the time. They came in several sizes and were used by the S. S. Pierce Company, a large import operation which originated in the Boston Harbor. Over time, Samuel S. Pierce became a well-known grocer with a reputation of specializing in imported goods from all over the world. Between 1880-1920 he opened shops in Copley Square and Coolidge Corner.


The last item uncovered was this small, clear glass medicinal bottle which has the image of a mortar and pestle embossed on it, along with the words, Geo. C. Frye, Portland, ME. George C. Frye was a fairly well-known wholesale and retail pharmacist around the 1890s to early 1900s. He lived in Portland, Maine. It is difficult to know which medicine was sold in this particular bottle since, at the time, these were used to store anything from fish oil to cough syrup.

Sheeting Installation

The sheeting installation phase will be completed on Friday, October 14th. Over the last few weeks there were times when the vibrations were felt throughout campus and it is safe to assume our students did not always appreciate the early wake-up calls. However, as you can see below, sheet pile walls are a critical piece to this project. Thank you all for your patience!


Sheet pile walls are constructed by driving prefabricated sections into the ground.


Each section is strategically placed along the perimeter of the site and a full wall is formed by connecting the joints of adjacent sheet pile sections in sequential installation.


Then, one by one, each section is driven into the ground by a pile driver.


Sheet pile walls provide structural resistance and are most commonly used in deep excavations.


The next phase of construction will be excavation. Stay tuned!

Time Lapse Video of the Demolition of Julie Hall

For the last few months, the construction management team has worked hard to complete the demolition of Julie Hall. The site now belongs to the new residence hall; an apartment-style, 18-story building that will help Emmanuel’s campus landscape evolve as we enter our next century. As you can see in the time lapse video below, the only way for the new residence hall to go is up!

Time Lapse Video of the Demolition of Julie Hall from Emmanuel College on Vimeo.